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A leader from the VCRO shares how far the industry has come with decentralized adoption, where opportunities for improvement exist, and what lies ahead.

While the pandemic knocked many clinical trial operations for a loop, the decentralized clinical trial (DCT) format has fueled a comeback since COVID-19’s arrival. Dave Hanaman (co-founder, president, and chief commercial officer of Curavit) spoke with Outsourcing-Pharma about progress made, lessons learned, and the road ahead.

OSP: How have decentralized trials evolved in the past two years?

DH: The biggest evolution has been the adoption of decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) by sponsors that would not have considered them without the catalyst of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, DCTs accounted for only 2-4% of trials and were projected to increase about 10% over the next 10 years. The pandemic and lockdowns forced the industry to get creative.

While there was a feeling early on that the use of DCTs might decline when the pandemic was over, the benefits of the model and the continued threats of new COVID variants proved otherwise. Now the DCT market’s estimated value is a staggering $1.63b USD by 2027, an annual growth rate of 14.8%, according to Precision Reports.

Much of this growth over the past six to 12 months is a result of the exploding digital therapeutics (DTx) market and their adoption of DCTs. According to Report Linker, the global DTx market is projected to reach $13.1b USD by 2026, up from $3.4b USD in 2021. These DTx companies are bringing novel software-based therapies and diagnostics into the market and their business and delivery models line up almost perfectly with DCTs because of the way these trials are designed from digital-first principles.

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