The survey findings come as CROs are increasingly focusing on both patient reported outcomes and digital technology in clinical trials.
Increased data quality, patient compliance, and efficiency of data collection were revealed as the top benefits of ePRO adoption, according to the study, which was financed by Almac. A majority of respondents also indicated that their organizations preferred using ePRO over paper and were generally satisfied with their overall experience.
More than three-quarters of respondents also said they believe ePRO increases patient compliance in a trial.
One of the main drawbacks for ePRO, however, is viewed to be that it’s more expensive than paper, though few companies offered any metrics around the cost comparisons. And only two respondents said the cost of ePRO was between 15% and 20% of their clinical trial budget.
Other top barriers to ePRO adoption include the lack of a perceived return on investment, a lack of understanding of ePRO and the fear of change.
Rise of ePRO
The survey of 22 responses from 18 companies also revealed that the adoption rate of ePRO will continue to rise, as it is still a relatively new addition to clinical research programs.
More than 60% of respondents said their companies began using ePRO in the last 5 years, while 11% have been using ePRO for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, adoption is also expected to pick up for those that don’t use ePRO. More than three-quarters of respondents expected that there would be increasing ePRO usage for post-marketing trials for primary and secondary endpoints.
Oncology and respiratory trials are two areas in which ePRO technology has been increasingly used, according to the survey, though gastroenterology and rare diseases are two areas that have seen the lowest levels of ePRO adoption.