Patient centricity—also known as patient-centered care—has been a growing force across healthcare. Like the consumer-driven change in other industries, patient centricity upends established models. Whereas traditionally, healthcare professionals dictate care decisions with little consideration for the patient’s desires, patient-centric care puts the patient first. Its tenets include:
• Empowering patients through technology
• Reducing inconvenience
• Designing protocols with patient associations
• Always making patients feel valued
In 2020, when Covid-related patient-safety concerns accelerated demand for decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), investigators found a surprising side benefit: DCTs are inherently patient-centered.
Now patients themselves are driving the demand for DCTs, and DCTs are being shaped to reinforce patient centricity further.
DCTs: The Shape of the Modern Clinical Trial
For over a decade, growing reliance on technology to manage disparate aspects of clinical trials has created an analogous growth in freedom from trial sites. Various e-tools have been incorporated for the convenience of sponsors and investigators. Electronic health records and eConsent forms can be accessed by staff anywhere. Centralized systems simplify data aggregation, monitoring, and analytics. Whether from ePro devices, wearables, or home testing, real-world information has opened rich new data streams while reducing overall trial costs. Still, uptake in the historically risk-averse healthcare industry was slow until COVID-19 forced broad-based changes in clinical trial deployment.