An Obstructed View of Clinical Data? Looking Back at DIA 2017

Written by Patrick Maloney, Director, Business Development - Boston

This photo, taken from a Wrigley Rooftop at a hosted DIA 2017 event, made me think, “What an interesting analogy for clinical trials… an obstructed view.” 

(Disclaimer: Before I go on, I must point out that my colleague and I had a lovely time at this event and we are very grateful to our hosts!)

The comparison begins with our gracious hosts who, up until the day of the event, expected they’d have a complete view of the game. Much like a study sponsor, our hosts would have preferred to know in advance if something was going to hinder or obstruct their event. It was only on the afternoon of their party that they were informed they might not have a ‘Complete View’ of the game, due to the completion of a new scoreboard in right field. 

As a spectator behind the scoreboard, I had varying degrees of information available to me in a range of timeframes. 

  • Looking at the scoreboard in left field I could see a high level view of everything that had happened in almost real time but was blinded to the fine details.
  • Listening to the PA announcer, I was told who was going to be doing something and what the result of that something was, but I had limited visibility into it directly.
  • Looking at the outfield, I could watch 2 of the 9 field players compete in real time but it was out of context with the rest of the team and their opponent.
  • I could hear the crowd of spectators react, which might trigger me to look at one of several TV monitors available to me to get a delayed view of what I had missed, but not all of them would react in the same manner to the same event.
  • I could also tune out all of the real time information and simply watch the game entirely on TV. This would give me most of the information I wanted but slightly delayed and somewhat filtered by what the broadcasting network thought I would want to see.  It also would have meant that I had travelled to be onsite to see something I could watch from anywhere. 

If you think about it, clinical trials are not much different. If you are using a trial portal you might get a high level view of your data but slightly delayed and without transparency. If you’re using an EDC system you can get a mostly complete view of your data but you have to wait for it to be entered into the system by someone else. If you’re using ePRO you can get real time feedback from your patients but you are relying on your ability to properly interpret their reactions. If you’re using eSource you can get some of your data in real time but there are certain things you’ll still have to go onsite for and see for yourself. If you’re relying on a CRO you might get most of the information you need but your view might be slightly delayed and somewhat filtered based on what they think you want. 

I’ve missed only a few DIAs since my first trip back in 2005, which interestingly was also in Chicago.  Since that time, the number of new and innovative technology solutions has grown exponentially. As a provider of innovative technology, Cmed is clearing obstructions to clinical data with the rapid adoption of encapsia®; a new generation Clinical Data Suite. encapsia® streamlines the capture, management and reporting of clinical data beyond what is currently possible, producing high quality data rapidly and providing all parties - sponsors, sites, CROs, etc. – with a real time view.

I think we can agree that no one has quite figured out how to deliver a completely un-obstructed and un-delayed view of drug information but we get closer every year. Perhaps by the time DIA descends again on Chicago in the future we’ll have a solution!