Since our last article about choosing partners for virtual clinical trials, the data has revealed a shift in interest. What I mean by that is while in March of this year ‘virtual clinical trials’ was the most popular keyword in Google, in recent weeks ‘decentralized clinical trials’ has gained more volume.

Now, I am not one to draw conclusions based on a single indicator. Yet, I can’t help but feel that this is reflective of a different kind of change I’ve been observing — the shift from contingency planning thinking to a proactive embrace of change.

Let me tell you…

In the past few months, we’ve talked a lot about decentralized clinical trials and the adaptation the clinical research industry needed to (and still does) go through. The is that Covid-19 put a lot of clinical trials on pause in 2020 and it became apparent that for research to go on in difficult times, the industry needs to become good at what was recently only a mitigation strategy — virtual clinical trials.

However, any adaptation needs to rely on solid data as you cannot mitigate risks unless you know where they are.

How many trials were put on pause?


Trigger warning: talk of weight loss, please don’t read if you have issues with disordered eating

When it comes to love and our “limiting beliefs”, to borrow a term from pop psychology, there are 2 types of people -

The ones who believe love should be effortless and any kind of challenge or disharmony is a sign they’re in the wrong relationship


The ones who believe love is hard, hard work and any real connection goes along with a serving of tumultuousness.

But, Nelly, I thought real love was supposed to be easy, what happened to that?, you ask.

We recently asked our 1,200+ LinkedIn followers (you can join the community here!) if they were planning on including decentralized elements in their trials even post-Covid. An overwhelming majority (92%) said YES.

If I had doubts before, it’s clear to me now: virtual and hybrid clinical trials are here to stay. More than just a mitigation strategy, decentralizing clinical trials is an opportunity to include new, more diverse patient populations and support them regardless of what’s going on in the world.

Covid-19 was just the catalyst of that shift, showing both CROs and Sponsors the importance of being agile. Though…

Real love is easy. No really, it is. I used to be an Attachment styles junkie, watching every YouTube video made by a psychologist who talked about shitty childhoods as if they are in any way comparable to the trauma of actual abuse.

Like, oh no, your mom didn’t really get you??? You’re now scarred for life. It’s basically the same as living with an alcoholic who sold your sister for a bottle of vodka and is beating you every day.

Shitty psychological advice is actually the reason I am writing this.

You know when Camila Cabello (I know, eye…

If you’re planning on incorporating virtual elements in your clinical trial design, you might’ve already encountered the challenge: finding vendors is no walk in the park.

My colleague, Maya, recently expressed her observations in an article about decentralized trials in Europe — she believes the main challenge there is the lack of vendors.

Add to that the fact virtual modalities are hard to map and analyze in order to build a clinical trial strategy (how do you even begin to scale the data from public registers?) and you have a complicated situation on your hands.

The data challenge is what…

Precision medicine or personalized medicine has been emerging as the trendiest area of research in oncology thanks to recent advances in technology. There is good reason for that — often, patients with the same type of cancer can respond differently to the standard treatment. Personalized medicine gives them a fighting chance by tailoring the treatment to their specific tumor’s genetics.

Precision medicine holds the promise of finding a cancer treatment personalized to each patient, making treatment resistance a thing of the past. …

My therapist once told me, “Maturity is the ability to tolerate ambiguity”. Or maybe she said, “Maturity is measured by our capacity to tolerate ambiguity”. Or was it… Either way, you get the message. It stuck with me. Thank you God for therapy — it’s the reason I don’t have a day-drinking problem. Or a not-eating-anything problem, anymore.

Well, anyway, back to maturity. And ambiguity. As a very anxious person, ambiguity is not among my faves. I have (a significantly less pronounced now) OCD — I trust all of these small ‘rituals’ to keep me safe. …

If there is one positive thing about 2020, it is the speeding up of medical innovation and rearrangement of priorities in the clinical research sector. It became clear that clinical trials cannot go on as usual and a shift in the way they’re planned is needed.

Which are the big trends in clinical research that will be pivotal in 2021? The Covid-19 pandemic made them easy to predict — number one on the list is certainly decentralized trials.

Global decentralized clinical trials

2020 was a transformative year for the way trials are being conducted and 2021 will take this even further. Decentralized trials which…

I recently turned 25 (not very recently, it was in May) and let me tell you I DO NOT feel like it. It’s so foreign to me this concept of being an adult, it’s like I’m supposed to know stuff about life and how to convince people to trust me not to burn the place down… I cannot believe the kind of responsibilities I’m dealing with. I barely know what taxes are.

Wow, I’m not exactly coming across as a trustworthy source of advice in this intro… but I promise, what I don’t know about the practicalities of day-to-day life…

Nelly Katsarova

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