Virtual Trials in the Covid Era

Amid the wake of destruction from COVID-19, hope and improved business solutions have risen as we grapple with unprecedented challenges. Finding creative ways to continue livelihoods has been a theme echoing in every home and business during the last year. Virtual trials are being used in research to offer safer and more efficient solutions in the COVID era and beyond.

Virtual Trial Take-Aways

When the pandemic hit last year, many trials were paused or stopped altogether. It became too risky to continue in-person visits for patients and staff. Virtual clinical trials allowed research to continue and becoming increasingly more popular. Virtual trials are when all or part of a trial is taking place and being managed outside a traditional setting.

Now with over 80% of trials having a virtualization component, there are some key takeaways on their impact on the industry:

  • Cost-effective: Virtualization is becoming more accepted in the research community. With that, more resources become available to help with its incorporation. Customizations that allow the optimization of virtual elements in the trial design and regulatory guidance are some examples. If these trends continue, clinical trials could become cheaper. Not to mention more equitable, and increase efficiency.  
  • Alleviating patient burden: By offering greater flexibility through removing time off work and transportation considerations, you can improve recruitment. By encouraging patients in more rural and low-income areas to apply, diversity increases.
  • Hybrid model– Incorporating a balance of both in-person and virtual touchpoints has helped patient retention. It also accounts for those not technologically savvy.

Is Your Virtual Trial Struggling? We Can Help. 

Virtual trials will continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Having a partnership that can address these new challenges and maximize its benefits is vital. PCRN has an extensive background in both primary health care and specialist trials. Our support and infrastructure ensure we meet your recruitment targets and deliver quality data. PCRN has a diverse range of clinical trial participants in our robust database, which streamlines the recruitment process tremendously.

PCRN’s sponsors and CROs enjoy:

  • Sixteen private clinical trial sites across New Zealand and Australia
  • One centralized contract and budget negotiation
  • Standardized SOPS across all sites, a rapid and centralized ethics process
  • Technology such as a CTMS with eSource, eDocs, along with a monitoring portal

Partner with us today to learn the PCRN difference. Email requests to, or contact a member of our leadership team:

  • Dr. Mike Williams – LCT +64 7 3477870
  • Dr. Simon Carson – SCT +64 3 3371979
  • Matt Clacy – Paratus +61 0 437 868 183