the microsampling blog

what microsampling means for virtual clinical trials

Technological innovations continue to sweep through modern society. Giant healthcare companies are already investing in virtual clinical trials by partnering with mobile technology companies. 

Clinical Trials researches working in front of computer laptopsThese virtual clinical trials represent a new paradigm in collecting safe and efficient data from human trial participants.

Microsampling and the Virtual Clinical Trial Revolution

Clinical trials have evolved over time to become complex experiments that are carefully regulated to promote efficacy and significantly minimize potential patient harm and inconvenience. The use of remote microsampling in virtual clinical trials has enabled participants to conduct their own specimen collection in the comfort of their homes. After collecting small samples of biological fluid, participants can mail them to the designated lab for processing and analysis. Study participants then use smartphone apps and other telemedicine technologies to share information with administrators and researchers.

So far, virtual clinical trials have already illustrated the benefits of microsampling techniques to both participants and practitioners.

Popularity of Microsampling Techniques

an overwhelming majority 92 preferred at-home fingerstickA recent study (conducted by Merck, with results presented by Kevin Bateman at this year's SCOPE conference in Orlando) revealed that an overwhelming majority (92%) of clinical trial participants preferred at-home sample collection to going to the clinic for a conventional blood draw. Only one person preferred the latter. Most respondents also indicated that self-collection with a finger-stick sampling method was not painful. Most patients prefer microsampling because it greatly minimizes the amount of blood, time, pain, and stress associated with traditional methods.

Usefulness of Microsampling in Virtual Clinical Trials

Microsampling helps solve the greatest challenges in clinical trials - adherence and compliance - by eradicating the inconvenience and pain associated with venipuncture. It also allows participants to collect a sample at home or in any location at their convenience. Portable microsampling devices are designed for precision and accuracy, as well as for easier and more comfortable specimen collection for participants. A portable and minimally invasive microsampling approach is particularly suitable for children or the elderly. The benefits of microsampling leads to improved recruitment and retention of participants in clinical trials.

Microsampling is an advance for scientific research and plays a significant role in streamlining the new trend toward virtual clinical trials. It’s important to note that clinical trials in the modern era focus on making the lives of participants easier, while at the same time aiming to advance medicine and knowledge.

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