The Changing Landscape of Decentralized Clinical Trials

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Pharmaceutical, Patient Recruitment & Retention, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Traditional clinical trials models were solely focussed on the site. Sites were selected for participation based on their experience, expertise and supposed recruiting ability; this process was often hurried and reliant on their track record and database. The problem is that not all trials are the same. Whilst a site may deliver well in one design, they may fail in another. Why? Because at the end of the day, it’s the patient who has to sign the consent and if they don’t want to participate, if the trial is too burdensome, then the site will fail to deliver, and the trial will be delayed.

As the world evolves, especially in today’s pandemic, patients demand more and indeed expect more as technology improves. When considering participation in a trial, visiting the site on a regular basis isn’t always attractive or possible. Why can’t the trial come to the patient? Why can’t the patient interact with site staff online? Of course, they can.

Patient centric trials, virtual trials, community-based models, decentralized trials… whatever you call them, the goal is to focus on taking the patient care in clinical trials to the patient. If the trial goes to the patient, they are more likely to participate, continue and complete the trial. The patient’s location becomes less of a problem, they don’t need to travel to site as often, so sites can recruit from further afield, increasing their contribution whilst not over burdening their own staff.

Patients are allowed more choice of treatments they may otherwise not be offered, or not be able to commit to; this is especially important in pediatric & rare indications, where the logistics of participation are further increased.

In a world of social media & Amazon, the traditional model will longer suffice; the decentralized world is here and there is no going back.


Stuart Redding, MRN

Stuart Redding, Chief Operating Officer, MRN

Stuart has over 25 years in the clinical research sector, having worked for a number of Sponsors and CROs before joining MRN. Stuart’s experience spans many disciplines including data management, clinical operations, project management, business development, proposals/budgets and marketing. Stuart was one of the MRN founders in 2006, joining the organisation as Head of Project Management. In 2009, Stuart took on the role of Vice President of Global Business Development and Marketing before stepping up as Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Stuart brings incredible insight to the running of decentralised clinical trials, having experienced the many challenges of running clinical trials in traditional models. With the overall responsibility for delivering all of MRN’s trial portfolio, Stuart is always focussed on maximising performance, improving processes and promoting high quality decentralised approaches.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • CEO
  • Clinical Director
  • Clinical Innovation
  • Clinical Development Director
  • Medical Director
  • Operational Director
  • Patient Engagement
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Services
  • Research Director

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, participants will learn about

  • The basics of decentralized clinical trials (DCT)
  • The benefits to all parties of DCT
  • How to implement DCT approaches
  • The hurdles & pitfalls of DCT models

Xtalks Partner


Profile – Our focus is supporting clinical research delivery, by helping patients participate in trials while remaining in their communities, wherever they live around the world. We aim to reduce the inconvenience and disruption of visits to investigator sites as much as feasible, by reducing the number of those visits. When visits need to be undertaken, we work to make the process as efficient and convenient as possible. We enhance patient enrolment, recruitment and retention.

As the largest international provider of specialist community clinical trial support, our services set the benchmarks for high-quality and innovative delivery. MRN is at the core of the clinical trial market and everything we do has always been focused on the patient.

Increased patient centricity is changing clinical research – This is, and always will be, a core part of Medical Research Network’s DNA.

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