IntraLinks Survey Highlights Need for e-Clinical Document Exchange Tools

By Bio-IT World Staff 

June 14, 2011 | One week ahead of the annual Drug Information Association (DIA) conference in Chicago, a new survey by IntraLinks, a leading provider of critical information exchange solutions, reveals a dearth of use in web-based tools for clinical document exchange. 

The IntraLinks Global Investigator Site Survey, which was conducted online by CenterWatch, examined what methods are currently used for clinical trial document exchange, and the effectiveness of those methods. The majority of the 598 responses to the survey were clinical research coordinators, investigators and subinvestigators. 70% are based in North America, 21% Europe and 9% Asia.  

The survey reveals that most investigator sites (73%) are using traditional methods of email, fax and courier as a primary tool for exchanging clinical trial documents, with more than 50% relying on email. Only one quarter of respondents are using web-based document exchange tools as their primary method: 

The survey also revealed corresponding inefficiencies and productivity challenges among clinical sites. 59% of respondents track due dates for information, current status or milestones manually, while two thirds of respondents spend at least a couple of hours per week searching for documents. Three quarters of respondents resend documents to sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) at least once (and in some cases several times) a week. 

Most respondents clearly recognize the benefits of web-based clinical document exchange tools, such as gaining access to updated information and reducing the amount of paper. But slightly less than half of respondents felt that reducing the time searching for information was a key benefit 

“The survey reinforced the challenges that investigator sites are continuing to face and showed their willingness to use web-based clinical document exchange tools to help alleviate these issues,” commented Linda Bowers, IntraLinks’ VP life sciences product marketing. “Sponsors and CROs have to consider investigator sites’ needs and the clinical community perspective as they deploy clinical trials in order to reach optimal productivity gains and efficiencies.”

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