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In Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics

While the digital revolution has transformed many areas of human endeavor, pharmaceutical drug development has been relatively slow to embrace the emerging technologies to enhance efficiency and optimize value in clinical trials. The topic has garnered even greater attention in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused unprecedented disruption in the conduct of clinical trials and presented considerable challenges and opportunities for clinical trialists and data analysts. In this paper, we highlight the potential opportunity with virtual or digital clinical trials as viable options to enhance efficiency in drug development and, more importantly, in offering diverse patients easier and attractive means to participate in clinical trials. Special reference is made to the implication of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools in trial execution and data acquisition, processing, and analysis in a virtual trial setting. Issues of patient safety, measurement validity and data integrity are reviewed, and considerations are put forth with reference to the mitigation of underlying regulatory and operational barriers.

Alemayehu Demissie, Hemmings Robert, Natarajan Kannan, Roychoudhury Satrajit


COVID-19, Virtual clinical trial, analytics, digital clinical trial, enhanced drug development, machine learning, pandemic, remote trial, site-less trial