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January 2021 Pulse Check on Decentralized Clinical Trials: Looking back on 2020 and at What Lies Ahead in 2021

Feb 5, 2021 11:10:12 AM

Throughout 2021 we’ll take a look at the latest developments in the realm of Decentralized Clinical Trials. Read this monthly roundup to discover the latest trends, insights, and modalities of decentralized clinical trials.

2020 was a pivotal year for those of us who work in clinical development. Covid-19 threw the ultimate curve ball to patients, investigators, CRA’s, and just about everyone else who contributes to ensuring that clinical trials are reliably executed. Suddenly the status quo of asking patients to visit a clinical site for the lion’s share of scheduled assessments was no longer tenable. And as a result our industry turned to Decentralized Clinical Trial (DCT) methodologies for both the continuity and rescue of existing studies as well as the design of new ones.

As we entered 2021 we’ve observed a subtle and important shift in the thinking of many of the stakeholders we interact with on a daily basis. Rather than asking “why” a DCT makes sense, individuals have moved beyond this, now asking “how” to implement one. 

Medable started the month by sharing lessons learned in how we successfully deployed DCT’s in 2020. We also started to look forward to how clinical trials could be reimagined with DCT’s serving as a new foundation. We covered these topics in depth at JPM’s Annual Healthcare conference by  leading five different sessions at the conference. You can view each of the sessions here:

The Digitalization of Clinical Trials

Michelle Longmire Founder and CEO,  Medable,  Maria Fotiu Executive VP of Decentralized Solutions, Syneos Health, Cathy Gao – VP, Sapphire Ventures, Juliet Moritz – COO, Illingworth Research - 

Hindsight is 2020: Lessons learned from DCTs and 2021 predictions

Alison Holland Head of Decentralized Trials, Medable and Craig Lipset Advisor & Founder, Clinical Innovation Partners 

Interview with Rasmus Hogreffe

VP Decentralized Clinical Trial Innovation at Medable 

 Rerouting: How Real-Time Patient Data Will Drive the Future of Healthcare Michelle Longmire with guests: Andy Coravos, CEO, Elektra Labs, Maria Fotiu, Executive VP of Decentralized Solutions, Syneos, Thomas Switzer, Digital Health Scientist, Genentech, Priyanka Agarwal, Director and Head of Digital Health, Myokardi

And finally, you can read VP of Decentralized Clinical Trial Innovation, Rasmus Hogreffe’s overall thoughts and reactions on this year’s JPM’s conference here, on his blog. 

In January of 2021 we also welcomed two important leaders to Team Medable:

Andrea Valente joined Medable as our new Chief Operating Officer to scale the global delivery of Medable Decentralized Clinical Trials. As research and patient care move from the controlled environment of the clinic to the home, focus on operational excellence is paramount. Valente is a proven expert in operationalizing patient technologies in clinical research. She played an early role driving adoption and scale of electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments (eCOAs), one of the first technology categories to interact directly with patients outside of clinical settings. She most recently led development and launch of Oracle’s public health platform to address COVID-19 pandemic response and vaccine trials in the U.S., UK and several developing nations. You can read more about Andrea joining Medable here. 

Parag Vaish joined Medable as our new Chief Product Officer to transform the clinical trial experience for patients and clinicians. As Medable continues to expand its product portfolio, Vaish brings valuable expertise creating products that are intuitive and enjoyable, removing friction from the user experience. During his tenure as head of digital product at Tesla, Vaish led a team of 43, dramatically changing how people buy the Tesla Model 3 through advance deposits, paperless transactions, and personalized home delivery. His team also built a payment system for in-car upgrades. At StubHub, Vaish and team led development of the award-winning StubHub mobile app, featuring a personalized, seamless experience that enabled users to buy tickets in just three taps. At Epocrates, Vaish evolved its mobile app from a 1.0 forms-based product to a modern 2.0 experience to help doctors minimize drug-to-drug interaction dangers. You can read more about Parag joining Medable here.

January 2021 also marked Martin Luther King day. And with this special day in mind, we partnered with Allison Kalloo of the Medable Patient Advisory council to explore the very real disparities in diversity and inclusion in clinical trials. 

Allison was kind enough to share her visceral experiences of growing up and coming of age in the healthcare field dating back to her mom’s experience as a participant in the Civil Rights Movement and her subsequent career as a virologist focused on infectious diseases. This shaped Allison’s experience and led to her becoming one of the foremost thinkers in how to improve Diversity and Inclusion in clinical development. 

You can read Allison’s posts and watch her video interview with Dr. Michelle Longmire here:


You Believe in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Okay. Show Us.

Blog from Medable PAC member Allison Kalloo

Fit for a King: Bending the Arc of Legacy Toward Action

Blog from Medable PAC member Allison Kalloo

Q&A With Medable PAC's Allison Kalloo On MLK Day 

Video interview with Michelle Longmire, Founder and CEO of Medable, and Medable PAC member Allison Kalloo

In the coming months Medable will be focusing on how to get started with a decentralized trial approach from both a strategic and operational perspective and then turn to looking at the benefits of launching a DCT platform that standardizes how systems, processes, people and data can come together in a predictable way to drive even greater efficiencies in this exciting new realm. 

Stay tuned!

David Swanger

Written by David Swanger

David Swanger leads marketing at Medable and is passionate about applying technology in novel ways to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.