The market for DDCT technologies will grow by 38.5% (CAGR) to reach 9.13 billion USD in 2026. While the pandemic propelled the market forward, its proposed benefits and increased efficiencies to research activities ensures it is here to stay. A new report by R2G discusses the market.
Digital solutions for decentralized clinical trials allow some or all clinical trial activities to be virtualized, rather than conducted in person out of traditional trial sites. DDCT technologies provide trial sponsors (organizations such as pharmaceutical companies running clinical trials) wearables to continuously collect patient data, telemedicine to deliver education and consent, and software dashboards to track patient data, among other digital tools. Today and in the future, it is expected that most trials using decentralized technology will be hybrid, with some treatment delivered in-person out of research sites, but the majority of long-term follow up and data collection conducted remotely.
At Research2Guidance, we have recently published a report on the rise of digital solutions and services that support decentralized clinical trials since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, entitled The Digital Decentralized Clinical Trials Solutions Market, 2018-2026. The report sizes the market and describes the long term trends that will continue to shape it.
As COVID-19 grounded the world to a halt, clinical trials and other scientific research methods were seen forced to innovate and virtualize, just like other economic sectors. Here, the DDCT model, which had already existed since as early as 2011, rose to newfound prominence, as investors and trial sponsors turned their interest to these virtual tools. Investments into DDCT companies grew by 114% between 2019-2020, reaching $750 million USD.
Today’s size of the DDCT solution and service market in North America (NA) and Europe is 1.79 billion USD. The market will grow by 38.5% (CAGR) to reach 9.13 billion USD by 2026.
DDCT solutions include electronic data capture companies, solutions to speed up patient recruitment, trial logistics support, and patient engagement solutions, among others.
The current 500 DDCT providers in NA and Europe operate within a larger market for outsourced clinical trial activities, traditionally dominated by large contract research organizations (CROs). These players, with longstanding ties to the most important pharmaceutical companies, are also turning to DDCT technology, often choosing to partner or acquire existing vendors and advance their own service offering. Because of this rise in popularity, it is expected that from 2020 and 2026, the share of the total clinical trial market captured by DDCT providers in NA and Europe will increase from 2.8% to 21.3%. This means that over 20% of trials with an outsourced component will be at least partially conducted remotely.
While decentralized trials were clearly pushed to popularity by the COVID pandemic, their strong claims and proposed benefits to the clinical trial process mean that they are strongly favored to continue being used, even after the pandemic subsides.
Proposed Benefits of DDCTs
Improved patient recruitment: Today, one of the largest challenges within clinical trials is patient recruitment, with most clinical trials not meeting their enrolment goals. DDCT companies identify and recruit patients with the help of EHR data mining tools, apps, or social media campaigns. Companies can screen millions of patient profiles within a fraction of the time needed in a traditional setting. Virtual models also allow companies to recruit patients around the world, not limited to those who live near the large research institutions that usually recruit patients.
Improved data quality and quantity: DDCTs use passive and instant data collection with automatic upload via apps and connected devices, rather than relying on reporting based on the patient’s memory. More data can be captured with the help of sensors and app data capture features. Furthermore, data collected either at the time of occurrence and reported in an app, or automatically uploaded by a wearable, is likely more accurate than data reported by patients weeks later, at a trial site.
Improved patient and HCP retention: DDCT companies use proven tools to engage and retain their users including notifications, automatic data input, gamification, telehealth, or coaching services.
Improved patient adherence to treatment or medication: DDCT solutions track adherence based on sensors, biomarkers, wearables, telemedicine, or other functions allowing less room for false, self-reported adherence data. Some solutions, such as AiCure, can even track adherence using the front camera of the patients’ iPhone, noting every time a patient correctly takes their medication.
Increase in patient diversity and patient centricity: Digital recruitment tools can help to recruit more diverse pools of patients, important in clinical trials that must prove treatments are effective for patients of all backgrounds or identify the most affected subgroups. Remote trials allow patients to participate despite barriers such as disabilities, transportation insecurity, living in rural areas, or work schedules that impede continued travel to sites.
Reduction in time and costs: DDCT companies claim that the collective benefits of faster recruitment, higher quality data analysis, and less patients dropping out of trials leads to a faster clinical trial process, better resource allocation, and overall cost saving for trial sponsors.
Claims by DDCT companies are differently backed by studies and business. The strongest claims today seem to be in an overall faster recruitment process, higher diversity of patients enrolled, increased retention, and better engagement tools.
To receive more information about the report The Digital Decentralized Clinical Trial Solutions Market 2018 – 2026, please click here.