RTSM service on a mobile app? Parexel did it

Parexel launches ClinPhone RSTM mobile app to improve clinical trial supply management. (Parexel)

Parexel updated its randomization and trial supply management (RTSM) services into a mobile app that can easily manage clinical trial supplies and their records.

The way the new mobile app works resembles that of a courier delivery service, and the secret lies in a barcode.

The app, available for both iOS and Android systems, allows clinical trial site staff, including principal investigators, study nurses, and clinical research associates, to record and track arrivals of study supplies, allocations and dispensing to patients, as well as process product returns and reconciliation, by simply scanning a barcode using a mobile device’s camera.

Using a barcode that contains all related information about the medication kit and updating its status through each step of the trial process can reduce time and human errors associated with manual inputs, and therefore also increase patient safety.

The CRO’s current ClinPhone RTSM system is based on the one it obtained with the acquisition of ClinPhone, a clinical technology company, in 2008.

This confirmation of the identity of shipments and medical kits via barcode scanning is a new addition to that existing RTSM platform, and it “adds confidence that sites are accurately processing and dispensing the right treatment to the right patient in the clinical trial,” said Ken Faulkner, corporate VP of Parexel Informatics, in a written response to FierceCRO.

Parexel has set up RTSM services for over 3,700 studies and deployed more than 2.5 million patients since 1993, with over 900 live studies running now, Faulkner said.

The system has in recent years gone through two major updates prior to the mobile app: one in 2014 when Parexel acquired RTSM services provider ClinIntel, and another in October 2016, when Parexel launched Active Tracking service for monitoring temperature-controlled clinical trial supplies.

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The complexity of trial designs and costs has put more stress on the ability to shorten the time needed for study buildup and to streamline clinical supplies, and Parexel is not the only one making an effort in the field.

Medidata, which focuses solely on making clinical trials run smoother, has Balance RTSM, which uses a single, configurable web interface for randomizing subjects and managing trial supply dispensation. It has some of the CRO industry’s big names such as SynteractHCR, PRA Health Sciences and INC Research as accredited users and partners.

The most recent player that plans to shake up the industry is Massachusetts-based startup 4G Clinical, which rounded up $5 million last October to bankroll development and early marketing of its RTSM system dubbed Prancer.

Ted Henderson, managing director of CV Schooner Capital, the leader in that round, called that system “the first RTSM system to leverage both a modern stack and the intelligence of natural language processing.”

As for Parexel, Faulkner said the company will use other on-board device components (such as the camera) in the future to further revolutionize the RTSM user experience, and will continue to develop services incorporating the latest in mobile, cloud and analytics technologies.