Arizona, US-based VirTrial, a technology company developing a telehealth platform for virtual patient visits, announced the launch of a training program to prepare clinical research sites for ‘hybrid’ clinical trials, which will include a combination of virtual and in-person visits.
The training program is provided for free to approximately 9,500 research sites-members of the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS).
The program includes four modules, lasting 5-10 minutes each. Upon completion of these modules, the research sites will receive a ‘Virtual Trial Capable Certificate’ and badge to display to sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs).
VirTrial’s CEO, Mark Hanley, said in a statement: “Most future protocols will include a telemedicine component, and we want to help ensure sites are prepared to handle that.”
The company’s goal is to have 30,000 members and 9,000 sites trained on virtual trials, he said.
The platform combines video, text, and email services and is available for use on patients’ personal devices, including iPhones, smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.
"Virtual visits greatly reduce the burden on patients by reducing their time and travel requirements," a spokesperson for VirTrial told us, adding that "Patients gain the flexibility to connect with their principal investigator from home or work via video chat or text."
However, according to the spokesperson, VirTrial promotes a hybrid model of decentralized clinical trials that includes both virtual and in-person visits.
"A hybrid model intentionally keeps many trial visits in-person and reserves remote visits for appointments that require things like study wellness check-in and medication compliance which can safely and easily be accomplished remotely," the spokesperson said.
Research sites can use VirTrial for free for virtual visits that are incorporated, written into a protocol and approved by institutional review boards.