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Patient-centricity, data and collaboration: 3 takeaways from PCT 2018

Bruce Hellman, uMotif CEO, shares his highlights from Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe held in Barcelona in November 2018.

This is my second time at Partnerships at Clinical Trials – and what a wonderful way for my colleagues and I to spend three days in Barcelona with industry friends. Three trends appeared from the excellent level of discussion throughout.

1) Patient-Centricity

One of the key themes of the event was the importance of patient-centricity in clinical research. Not only that by considering the view of the patient, challenges around recruitment and retention on studies can be mitigated, but also that patient first approaches help patients manage their condition and collect more data – particularly in RWE studies.

This point was highlighted by Jessica Morris and Dr Alexis Demopolous of OurBrainBank in their plenary session. Jessica spoke about how patients with challenging conditions are looking for ‘cures for today’ not just a medical cure, but one that enhances what they can do to feel better today as they live with their condition. We at uMotif were delighted to present on the Patient Engagement track and share some of our perspectives on how clinical trials of the future will be patient-first – and how a participant’s perception of burden can be reduced through better engagement.

2) Data, Analytics and AI in Clinical Research

Another key theme was around data, analytics and AI. This was a common thread throughout the conference, starting with the plenary session  with Inma Martinez from Deep Science Ventures which showed us how progress in this field is creating huge opportunity for all industries. The Artificial Intelligence stream on day 3 had a number of insightful sessions. Not least the opening session by Dr Jack Kreindler, where he shared some of the progress he and his team are making using AI and data science to improve treatment pathways for patients with life-threatening diagnoses.

We also shared some of our perspectives in a presentation and the following panel discussion as to how to use data science to support patient-centric clinical research. The industry panel sparked some great debate on how these new technologies could be used to fundamentally change the way research is performed today – and improve the experience for patients. However, blockers remain and issues such as data privacy, data quality, security and patient acceptance will require investment and collaboration from across the industry to overcome.

3) Strength in Collaboration

And it’s these partnerships that are the core of this event. The plenary sessions by Dr Ken Getz and Neal McCarthy showed us how the challenges being faced by the industry cut across all segments - from Sponsors, to CROs, to vendors – and only by working together can we move forward.

The event was a great place to meet old friends and make new connections to see us into a successful 2019. We’ll see you in Barcelona for next year’s Partnerships at Clinical Trials on 19-21 November 2019.

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