According to Thermo Fisher, the new network would support the rapid evolution and deployment of DCTs worldwide through its eLearning program. The company will offer a DCT eLearning certification program, which was created in collaboration with the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS).
Through the DCT network created by PPD, investigator and sites will be able to receive training to gain membership to the network. The training program will comprise of online courses that cover various aspects of DCTs, including the definition, principles, strategy, challenges and best practices, amongst other areas.
Once installed within the network, a DCT network manager will then collaborate with investigators and sites to coordinate knowledge sharing, best practices and guidance among network members on the DCT landscape.
The certification program will feature two tiers: level 1, which provides a foundational introduction to DCTs, and level 2, which builds upon the first level with in-depth capabilities for the application of DCTs, the company stated.
Tim Rich, digital and decentralized solutions, clinical research, at Thermo Fisher Scientific, said, “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 company outlined that as DCTs evolve, the network will help sites and clinical researchers to improve patient experience by offering options, such as telemedicine, home healthcare, and mobile sites that enable a greater number of people to participate in trials.
Previously, PPD’s Jennifer Crager, executive director of digital and decentralized solutions, told Outsourcing-Pharma how the company had helped a client to set up a DCT: “We designed and implemented a study strategy that incorporated several different vendors with integrated workflows. This allowed a patient to have consented, complete screening questionnaires, and complete all assessments for the study in a seamless way, despite interacting with multiple eClinical technologies.”
PPD is a recent addition to the Thermo Fisher business, after the $17.4bn (€17.7bn) was agreed last year. In a recent update following the merger, CEO of Thermo Fisher, Marc Casper, stated the two businesses had found significant synergies when it came to combining the supply elements of clinical trials, alongside the role of playing a role in their creation.