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By Ross Wooddisse

The explosion of data being captured by the life science industry during clinical development has made big pharma realize the necessity to re-evaluate the way this data flows through their organization to inform critical decision making and improve trial outcomes. 

With tsunami of clinical data coming from new and traditional data sources, coupled with the challenges of working in an increasingly remote way, leaves some clinical development organizations unprepared to manage the data and unequipped to leverage the data to create insights and value. Currently, much of the data is handled in silos, requires multiple handoffs with conversion and manual effort, and the lack of standardization requires heroics to find meaning in the data. The human impact of the inefficiency is considerable, and there is a strong desire for near-real-time and seamless flow of clinical data throughout the trial lifecycle, to unlock the full potential of patient data and accelerate trial outcomes.

Many large pharma organizations are struggling with legacy technology, inconsistent data and a bad user experience from their clinical solutions, with a lot of variability in processes and multiple disconnected systems. A mess of integrations has led to solutions that are difficult to maintain, fragile to upgrade, and have inherent inefficiencies as data flows (or doesn’t flow!) through the lifecycle.

With the onslaught of the novel coronavirus, the pharma industry had to quickly prioritise its efforts to work remotely with centralised monitoring and limited access to clinical sites for data verification, expediting the need for transformation in clinical trials. Many companies prioritised work towards Covid-19 vaccines and treatments — with new pace and purpose but a greater challenge than ever from the lockdown restrictions. New approaches evolved rapidly with new study designs, with many of the adaptations being of such value that they will never return to the old ways of working.  The life sciences industry is continuing to innovate with precision medicine, digital health, connected devices and higher patient experience expectations, with the pandemic catalysing new ways of working to deliver in what is now the new normal for R&D.

There is an opportunity for clinical data flows to be consolidated, for new standards to be applied, new automations to be established, and superior efficiency to be achieved — allowing clinical organizations to handle the exponential growth in data and be future-ready. Finding meaning from this new volume of structured data, unstructured documents, lab data, images, translational data, real world evidence and device data requires the most advanced data integration, data conversion, AI/ML and UX/UI/visualization solutions.  These solutions will allow the scientists and medics to focus on what they do best — science and medicine — and less on manual, repetitive and administrative tasks to handle the data.

The process of generating good solutions depends on our ability to effectively define and understand the problem space. This is where Accenture applies design thinking, an approach that inspires closer collaboration and produces better outcomes. Accenture partners with pharma companies of all sizes to revolutionize their R&D capabilities, with real-life experience on what it takes to improve the end-to-end clinical development lifecycle and address the challenges with the flow of data.  This helps to transform the clinical trial value chain, improve the human experience of trial participants and clinical professionals and future-proof their capabilities to unlock greater value for patients and investigators.

Accenture has a broad understanding of the trends in the life sciences R&D industry and can help organizations to assess their challenges and opportunities to improve the flow of clinical data, achieving more futuristic capabilities and being ready for the next generation of therapies to be developed. Accenture’s capability model and unique approaches to identifying and defining valuable opportunities allows organizations to secure senior buy-in to implement wide-reaching transformation projects — and Accenture has the technology, change and programme management capabilities to help companies to fully achieve the vision leveraging the most advanced platforms in the industry.

Addressing the challenges with the flow of clinical data will improve clinical outcomes by maximizing the value of patient data, providing access to clinical development professionals at the right time and allowing for better informed and faster decisions to be taken.

There is a pressing need to be agile, innovative, collaborative, and bold; going on a continuous cycle of discovery, testing, and learning, to build the value proposition and create an impactful transformation in the clinical space.

Revolutionizing the flow of clinical data is an essential building block for clinical trials of the future.

For more information visit Accenture Life Sciences.

About the Author

Ross Wooddisse is a Managing Director with Accenture Life Sciences, helping pharmaceutical R&D organizations tackle business challenges through the best application of technology, outsourcing, and digital capabilities.