The Road to a Smarter EDC Workflow

At long last, the electronic data capture (EDC) industry is showing signs of evolving beyond the challenges that stem from traditional pricing models and workflows.

Here’s a scenario you may find familiar if you’re a veteran EDC user: During your vendor selection process, you’re in discussions with a company that promises a monthly subscription cost significantly lower than any of the other vendors you’ve considered. The vendor promises fast study build, an intuitive interface, and all the additional modules you may need. You can’t deny it – it sounds like a pretty great deal. But as the saying goes: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Let’s say you move forward with this vendor, and implement their EDC for your next clinical trial. Before long, all sorts of extra costs, previously unseen, have emerged:

  • Building the study requires extensive programming, leading to a costly timeline extension and perhaps even the need to pay for programming or IT contractors.
  • You’re unable to make mid-study changes yourself, and must instead reach out to the vendor to perform this task, thus incurring ongoing project management fees.
  • Extra modules like dictionary coding, while available, come at an extra cost.

Suddenly, the savings promised through the vendor’s low monthly subscription price seem far out of reach. Not only that, but with the involvement of programming staff and representatives from the vendor, your operations are now dependent on a whole host of additional parties.


Keeping the common sense in your EDC

In a break from scenarios like the one just described, some industry players are moving toward a more common-sense approach to pricing and workflow design in electronic data capture. This shift is driven by a few common-sense principles: Shouldn’t clinical research remain in the hands of clinical researchers? Shouldn’t eClinical software pricing be simple and transparent, so that sponsors and CROs can better quantify the investment they’re making?

We’ve always seen our work, at Medrio, less about the capabilities of our software than about the capabilities of those who use it. We believe than any EDC should acknowledge, and cater to, a few fundamental rights of EDC users:

  • The right to autonomy – EDC users should be able to perform their essential functions independent of other parties. Essential tasks like study build and mid-study changes shouldn’t require the involvement of programmers or the intervention of their EDC provider.
  • The right to administrative flexibility – EDC users often have to deal with a host of complexities before data management even begins, from pricing, to training, to onboarding and beyond. These processes should be as simple as possible, so that researchers can actually get to work on their research.

When EDC users can manage their tasks in-house and benefit from administrative efficiency, their work, across the board, becomes a lot simpler – and from that simplicity flow the high speed and low costs that today’s clinical research industry demands. After all, the fundamental goals of EDC are to reduce costs and accelerate timelines – and by imposing hidden fees and creating dependence on external parties, an EDC company truly defeats its own purpose.


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