Highlights From SCOPE 2021, And The Clinical Trial Road Ahead

Dan joins the Marketing team at Medable. Previously, Dan was a Content Manager at Signant Health and a Marketing Manager at IQVIA. He got...

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Those in the clinical trial industry understand that there are several barometers that can be used to gauge the overall state of the industry. Chief among these are the “big conferences” that occur each year, such as SCOPE, J.P. Morgan week, and D.I.A. With another SCOPE behind us, we thought we’d take the time to summarize what we felt were some of the important industry trends and topics discussed in detail this year.

An Increased Focus on Sensors in Trials

With the outside world still continuing to keep the majority of patients at home, a large focus at this year’s scope was on the promise and potential of sensors and wearables in the market.

New ideas about the best ways to capture and use clinical trial data were bolstered by arguments showing the positive impact to drug development that comes from combining trial data with supplementary patient data. While the overall sentiment was positive and hopeful around the growing use of sensors, many cautioned that there would need to be a large concerted effort to centralize their deployment and standards of use with review boards and regulators worldwide.

Presentation(s) of Note:

Sensors and Wearables in a Decentralized World - Play back available now.
Ali Holland,Exec GM, Digital and Decentralized Solutions

Meeting all Endpoint Needs with a Single Platform
Geoff Gill, President, Shimmer Americas, Shimmer Research

The Growing World of Decentralized and Remote Trials

Continuing the sentiments of 2020, decentralization and remote trials continued to influence the conference at large. Many industry organizations touted their plans and capabilities when it came to administering trials at home, in-office, or anywhere in between.

Furthermore, more companies were speaking to the general needs and circumstances that have led us towards decentralization. This includes not only COVID-19, but older research indicating how many patients, sites, and even sponsors are burdened and constrained by in-clinic only trials.

Presentation(s) of Note:

Scaling Decentralized Trials: Best Practices and Lessons Learned to Help Strengthen Patient-Centricity & Trial Delivery
Nagaraja (Sri) Srivatsan, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Technology Solutions, IQVIA
Christopher Varner, Associate Director, Virtual Trials, IQVIA

The Effect of COVID-19 on Our Industry

For those who didn’t see this one coming, it only took a brief glance at this year’s agenda to know what would be a major talking point at this year’s SCOPE.

COVID-19 drove discussions pertaining to topics relevant across our entire industry. This included COVID as a driver for innovation, but also flexibility, speed, new ways of running trials, changing regulations, and the lasting legacy of clinical trials.

Presentations of note:

Keynote Presentation: COVID-19: How an External Event Redoubled Janssen’s Culture of Innovation
Darren Weston, Vice President, Integrated Data Analytics & Reporting (IDAR), Janssen


As one could expect, several of the main themes of this year’s SCOPE were a direct result of our world in 2020. What SCOPE cemented, however, was that the “new norm” of doing things, one brought upon by COVID, is definitely here to stay.