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Life Sciences 12.05.14 BLOG 

Our Gift to You This Season: Transparency

By Garrett Smith, Executive Director, TransPerfect Life Sciences Solutions

paperless clinical trial technology

Our Gift to You This Season: Transparency

Boxes, wrapping paper, bows, tissue paper, gift bags, envelopes…

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, the tradition of packaging and embellishing gifts can be as important to the holiday experience as the gift itself. Exterior decorations serve to both disguise the gift and enhance it—heightening the anticipation until that moment you can rip open the package and uncover the surprise. This ambiguity—while fitting for gifts—is not desirable when it comes to product development, clinical research, and post marketing efforts where fast, direct access to information is key. Which is why our gift to you this season is wrapped in a different theme: transparency.

2014 has been a year of a similar trend in drug development with a unified quest for greater transparency. eTMF, eClinical Solutions, Risk-Based Monitoring, eConsents, and eCTD—these topics have dominated industry conferences this year. The common thread: “e”—short for electronic—which represents powerful solutions designed to eliminate complicated and expensive paper-based communications. These hot topics of 2014 align with past technology trends. Consider how data management has evolved from a paper-based system to electronic data capture (EDC), or how the IRB/EC submission process has transitioned from manual faxing to uploading documents online. It’s only natural that other clinical communications, regulatory documentation, and general corporate records management follow suit. Is your company moving in this direction? 

“Going paperless” was a newfangled idea back in 2008 when we first introduced our paperless technology, Trial Interactive. Today, electronic communications are so integral to the development process that they’ve driven a rash of new industry standards. Small virtual companies to international pharmaceuticals to CROs of all sizes are adopting technologies to streamline internal processes and enable better interfacing with vendors and partners. Every company has its own drivers for change, but the benefits and value are universal to multiple business users: clinical, medical affairs, safety, alliance management, corporate development, and even legal.

Stepping outside of the work environment and looking at our personal and professional lives, we all seem to benefit from people, technology, and services that provide transparency in one way or another: smartphones and tablets loaded up with our favorite apps, wearable fitness trackers, online banking sites, etc. These are just some of the tools already present in our lives designed to simplify, streamline, and reveal the details of our activities. If our industry embraces this idea, we can elevate drug development to a new level of efficiency.

As you consider your New Year’s resolutions, be resolute about the need for transparency within your company. Solutions and processes that enhance transparency will not only make your own life easier, but also mitigate risk for the lead products that define your company’s success. 


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