CATEGORIES: Investigator meeting; Types; Virtual interactive; Setting
Robust and well-conducted clinical trials underpin the success of pharmaceutical products. The formula of a well-conducted clinical trial has been established over many decades and there are now many companies dedicated to overall study management, data-collection and monitoring (for example), as well the organisation and conductance of investigator meetings.
Typically, there will be a large face-to-face investigator meeting around the time of the study start date, whereby all participating investigators are convened at a central location and are trained on all aspects of the protocol. Such meetings are considered to be extremely valuable by pharmaceutical companies and investigators alike, and are expected to continue to be an important component of clinical trials into the foreseeable future. However, once a clinical study has been initiated, there are a range of opinions about how best to follow-up with the study sites and address any specific issues that may arise – these include regular telephone calls, local visits, online (virtual) meetings, and follow-up face-to-face meetings with selected investigators.
Virtual interactive (Vi) investigator meetings are a new way to engage with study sites – they promote active participation from all attendees, create empowered moderation, deliver synchronous training, promote discussion and increase motivation amongst clinical study sites. Collectively, these attributes highlight clear advantages of virtual interactive processes over other, standard, types of investigator meeting.
In reality, virtual interactive investigator meetings can be used at any stage of a clinical trial whereby multiple study sites need to be brought together for a defined purpose. Virtual interactive processes are optimally suited to addressing specific training or site needs and can be customised accordingly. The technique also has the potential to uncover views or misconceptions about study matters so that corrective action can be taken. These views are often not disclosed in a traditional WebEx meeting where engagement is low and so don’t provide the sponsor with the same opportunity.
The availability of enhanced investigator engagement, maximal participation, increased motivation, novel and bespoke functionality, expert scientific consultation, expert moderation, and the lack of travel/accommodation costs should be the major considerations when evaluating whether to use virtual interactive investigator meetings for your clinical study needs.