Adapting to the new normal includes a wider understanding of the challenges in clinical trial decentralisation

During the pandemic virtual clinical trials were perceived by many as heralding the dawn of a new era for clinical research.

Professor Yan Yiannakou – Chief Investigator of the UK’s first fully virtual trial and Clinical Director of NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre, Newcastle – examines the evolving clinical trials landscape and reflects on whether the predictions are translating into fad or fate.

In 2020, RELIEVE IBS-D was the first interventional commercial trial in the UK to be converted to a fully virtual – also known as decentralised – clinical trial (DCT). The trial showed transformational improvement to the recruitment and retention of trial participants. A year later, the Government policy paper on clinical trials urged further development of DCTs. Despite this strong start, progress in Europe has been much slower than in the USA.

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