Pharma Focus America

Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces Decentralized Clinical Trials Network

Thursday, October 06, 2022

The PPD clinical research business of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced the creation of the PPD DCT Network to support global investigators and research sites participating in decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) for pharmaceutical and biotech customers.

A cornerstone of the network will be a new DCT eLearning certification program developed in collaboration with the Site Advocacy Group process of the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), a global organization that supports more than 9,500 sites in 47 countries. Through the DCT network, investigators and sites will receive practical DCT training that leads to network membership. A dedicated DCT network manager will collaborate with investigators and sites to coordinate knowledge sharing, best practices and guidance among network members on the ever-evolving DCT landscape. The network will be available to the full range of sites that the business currently works with to deliver DCT studies for customers.

“As a global leader in the design, strategy and delivery of DCTs, we are pleased to establish this global network to offer our customers trained investigators and sites focused on supporting the ongoing development and deployment of DCTs,” said Tim Rich, vice president, digital and decentralized solutions, clinical research, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Through the Site Advocacy Group process, as well as our collaboration with investigators and sites experienced in delivering DCTs, we are combining efforts to enhance consistency and quality of delivery to be our customers’ DCT partner of choice. In the end, our goal is to enable more patients – including those from diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations – to participate in clinical research.”

The PPD clinical research business has established itself as a leader in the development of DCTs, which afford greater access to clinical trials for patients who previously may have been unable to participate because of a variety of personal factors, such as distance from research sites and conflicts with their work schedules. The new network will support sites as DCTs evolve and as clinical researchers seek to improve the patient experience in clinical trials by offering options such as telemedicine, home health care and mobile sites that enable more people to participate.

“Often, clinical research technology training programs are developed without feedback from the end users – sites and patients,” said Jimmy Bechtel, vice president, site engagement, SCRS. “We applaud the PPD clinical research business for incorporating feedback through the SCRS Site Advocacy Group process to develop a DCT training program that will be both practical and useful for sites.”

The DCT certification program features two tiers:

Level 1 provides a foundational introduction to DCTs.
Level 2 builds upon the first level with in-depth capabilities for application of DCTs.

The skill-enhancing training features online eLearning courses and covers a wide variety of DCT aspects such as: definitions, principles, strategies, challenges and best practices; design and the ideal circumstances for DCT studies; solutions and supporting services; management considerations and instructions; and site capabilities such as staffing, training and facilities.

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