New research from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that the CTMS market generated revenues of $237.6m in 2007 and is expected to grow at a rate of 14.5 per cent a year until 2014. In these times of market competitiveness, CROs are constantly looking to gain a business edge. Using new technologies to shorten project timelines, improve data quality and lower overall cost is one such way of achieveing this. "As clinical trials globalise, sponsor companies and CROs increasingly look for tools that will help them simultaneously view, manage and discuss these trials across multiple sites," said Frost & Sullivan. According to the firm, CTMS have "emerged as the best-suited solution to provide this competitive advantage to CROs". These tools employ intelligent applications and access to clean data, as well as using automated data checks to ensure the reliability of data, thereby reducing the need for expensive back-end queries and reconciliation. "CTMS has the potential to enable decision making and improve patient safety protection," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Barath Shankar. In particular, he noted that the success of implementing electronic data capture (EDC) solutions "is a strong driver" for the implementation of CTMS solutions. Meanwhile, these technologies are also proving particularly useful in their application to large post-marketing studies, with CROs now actively investing in tools that capture and manage large amounts of trial data more effectively. According to the Frost & Sullivan report, titled 'US Clinical Trial Management Systems Markets', while this trend will continue for the time being, CTMS vendors must also prepare for the eventual maturing of the market. The company predicts that system vendors will increasingly deal directly with CROs, which will be primary decision makers for choosing a CTMS vendor. In addition, the firm believes that CROs will also become increasingly conscientious when selecting a vendor, since sponsors will prefer CROs that function as a one-stop shop and offer integrated solutions for running and managing trials. Meanwhile, as CTMS implementation becomes increasingly necessary for industry players who wish to remain competitive, the implications of this for smaller CROs and biopharma companies, in terms of cost and resources are "significant," said Shankar, with the total cost of deployment and operation of CTMS solutions being expensive and containing a number of hidden costs.