12 April 2017
5 ways the cloud is advancing drug development and scientific research
Technological innovations are improving the way we live our everyday lives but they also have the potential to improve our lives in many other ways, for example aiding better healthcare and furthering scientific discoveries.
Developing a drug intervention can take years and cost millions, however, cloud technologies are helping to save time, reduce costs and improve the chances of success.
What is cloud technology?
Put simply, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of on paper or your computer's hard drive. Using cloud technology for neuropsychological assessments, such as CANTAB in clinical trials, means that data is sent directly to secure servers, processed instantly and can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time.
How can cloud tech advance drug development and scientific research?
1. Global development
Once a clinical trial reaches Phase II, multiple sites, locations and languages are required in all of the study protocol items. Cloud-based cognitive testing systems such as CANTAB Connect allow for multiple sites in multiple countries to test participants in the same trial at the same time, supporting further cross-cultural and multi-national scientific research. CANTAB tests are independent of language and culture and because they use abstract stimuli are independent of language, allowing for subjects of any nationality to complete them. The data output can be compared across countries and is of the highest quality.
2. Patient recruitment
Clinical trials face increasing challenges and mounting costs in locating and identifying the correct participants for their study. Not only do you have to find participants, you then have to correctly identify them as a suitable candidate, following costly screening processes, which are looking for very specific target populations. Cloud technology such as CANTAB Recruit, enriches and improves study recruitment by sensitively pre-screening participants' cognitive abilities with all data readily accessible via the cloud to study management.
3. Collaborative research
Automatic data synchronisation is allowing investigators from multiple locations access to the same study at the same time. This facilitates data collection from multiple sources, allowing easier and more reliable collaboration on a wider scale. This is true both for academic research and between pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as more companies co-operate on potential drug development. CANTAB Connect’s cloud-based assessments run automatically with voiceover instructions to guide participants through each step consistently. This avoids any inter- and intra-rater variance improves the reliability of data and mitigates the risk of human error impacting results. Anonymised patient data exported directly from the cloud can be shared much more easily for support in data analysis, or between researchers to help find a cure or treatment for a particular disorder such as depression.
4. Patient outcomes
Collecting real-world patient outcomes and post-marketing data is a major challenge. Cloud-based wearable apps, such as Cognition Kit, collect real-time, reliable patient data, providing evidence of everyday patient outcomes for a treatment.
5. Accelerating clinical trials
Pen and paper tests take time to score, upload outcomes into datasets and compare results. Computerised, cloud-based technologies such as CANTAB Connect and Cognition Kit ensure scores are automatically calculated, reducing data errors and maximising data accuracy. These are all then uploaded to the cloud and stored securely alongside all other data for the study, thus making data collection more efficient, more effective, and more accurate.
Cloud technology is helping to speed up the clinical trial process, saving time and cutting costs. Proving or disproving the safety and efficacy of treatments faster ensures that drugs can either fail or get to market sooner.
CANTAB Connect combines leading neuroscience with innovative cloud technology for smarter cognitive testing. The secure cloud computing platform enables increased data quality, greater efficiency and real-time access to global assessment data to make informed decisions in studies, fast.