Clinical research is booming, and the number of research projects is increasing each year. However, no central platform collects clinical trials across all of the different research settings, where the data is easily accessible. The lack of this centralized platform can make it difficult for researchers to find information about clinical trials for their own studies.
For example, when researchers look for clinical trial data, they must use different search engines and databases. But if the information is not easily accessible in these places, their clinical trials may also not be found by other researchers who could use them or cite them in their own studies.
A centralized platform allows all clinical research to be registered and easily accessed by specific users (researchers). Registries will ensure that the crucial information about these research projects is more readily available to others, which will improve our ability to conduct additional research on the same issues with the same (or new) participants. This process is called secondary analysis. With a central registry of all clinical trials, we can also learn from the experience of others in terms of what design and measures worked in a specific research project and which ones did not.
This is especially important because most clinical trials are small, with limited resources for data collection. Clinical researchers carry out many studies on small samples due to limited funding and might never be able to publish their work. Also, even if they do get published, the journal articles will often only be read by other researchers who are specifically interested in that particular topic, so it’s unlikely that anyone else will discover them and use them.
Another reason we cannot underestimate the importance of secondary analysis relates to the limitations of original studies: studies usually include relatively few participants and measurements. Even if the study is well-designed and executed, it may lack the power to detect statistically significant relationships.
How else do clinical trials benefit from a centralized platform?
One-stop-view For All Clinical Data
A one-stop-view service provides an integrated way for researchers to access multiple data sources. The platform allows users to search, aggregate, and process clinical trial data to extract new insight through secondary analysis.
A centralized platform provides access to:
- The required dataset(s) in a specific format
- Statistical tools for data processing and analysis
- Integration of the results with other evidence (biological, clinical, etc.)
- Visualization of the results via interactive graphs or reports
Enables Complete Control Over Clinical Trial Data
The following is a list of reasons for which having your own platform for data aggregation and analysis is the best solution:
- Servers up all the time – You don’t have to worry about servers or security issues.
- Customizable – you can create a custom user interface with ease.
- Reliable – A compliance team will make sure your clinical trial is always up to par.
- Scalable – Your platform will grow as your project grows.
- HIPAA compliant – everything is kept private and secure.
Enables Speed and Reliability
A platform is a central location where you can consolidate all of your data. All the data is in one place, which means that you don’t have to worry about missing anything while working on multiple machines. We also use some proprietary techniques to ensure that the whole system stays up and running.
When it comes to clinical trials, speed and reliability are crucial. You need to be able to trust the platform and know that it won’t fail you when your trial is running. Having a single point of contact certainly helps with both speed and reliability, especially considering all the data structures we use to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The last thing you want is for your project to come screeching to a halt due to an error, especially during a trial.
With the right network of machines and a good load balancer, you can more easily scale your clinical trial platform when more resources are needed. For instance, if you have an ad campaign that brings in a lot of traffic to your site or mobile app, adding new hardware from a centralized solution is easier than one created on multiple servers.
Ensures Quality of Service
If you’re running a nationwide or worldwide clinical trial, it’s important that all participants have the best possible performance. This will require ensuring that your clinical trials platform has redundancy built-in through properly designed failover clusters and appropriate network speed. Not only does this provide better security, but it helps ensure that the end-user doesn’t experience poor performance or downtime during these types of events. It also provides greater availability to users, which is imperative for communications-based apps.
Provide Increased Flexibility With Existing Applications
By deploying centralized solutions, you can avoid making changes to existing applications when new devices are purchased. If you need more resources onsite, it’s to add on additional servers by using a hypervisor.
It’s Not Just for Large Organizations
Virtualization isn’t just limited to larger companies with more resources at their disposal. Small-to-medium-sized businesses can realize the flexibility, scalability, and high availability benefits from this technology. It’s estimated that nearly half of enterprises will adopt server virtualization in less than two years.
No one wants to spend hours and hours stressing about clinical trial software, especially if you’re already busy with patient enrollment, regulatory submissions, and all the other tasks involved in running a clinical trial.
A centralized platform for clinical trials may not be the right fit for all organizations, but this technology is worth serious consideration. By leveraging the power of virtualization, you will realize many benefits and lower your IT costs.
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