Pfizer Announces First U.S. “Virtual” Clinical Trial Allowing Patients to Participate Regardless Of Geography

The randomized pilot study, called REMOTE, uses mobile phone and web-based technology (e.g. electronic diaries, online testing tools, a dedicated website) to collect the necessary data for the trial without clinic visits.

Investigators plan to enroll about 600 patients from about 10 states across the United States. Pfizer will compare results to previous clinical trials and assess whether virtual trials can save time and obtain the same results as traditional ones, or perhaps even more reliable data through increased patient compliance, lower withdrawal rates and real-time data collection.

Although not all clinical trials could be done remotely, if this pilot proves successful, it might be an interesting model for our emerging UCSF-CTSI Participant Recruitment Service.

Watch the animated video that outlines the trial’s basics to patients

More information:

2 thoughts on “Pfizer Announces First U.S. “Virtual” Clinical Trial Allowing Patients to Participate Regardless Of Geography

  1. This trial is being conducted by Pfizer in collaboration with Mytrus, an technology-based clinical trials start-up whose founders include 2 UCSF faculty members. This Phase IV proof-of-concept trial is meant to pave the road for future earlier phase clinical trials which require minimal interaction with the participant.

    While it presents an interesting opportunity for recruitment, the real benefit is in the conduct of the trial where they hope to validate methodologies and data collection methods. The cost and time savings to both researchers and participants that is associated with not having an in-person visit can be extroardinary. That said, the majority of trials and participants will never be a fit for this model.

    There is certainly a place for technology in both recruitment and clinical trials conduct, and I hope that efforts like this have a positive impact on the acceptance of technology for recruiting participants to clinical research. It’s also an opportunity to expand the online recruitment methods that have been available for many years but have been slow to gain traction, particularly in academic research.

  2. Hi Nariman, thanks for the note. That’s new to me that 2 UCSF researchers were somehow “involved”. Btw, Mytrus has created the video and website…which I found pretty interesting…

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