The end of the paper trial?

It’s time to move on from paper. No Really. It is time to move on from paper.

Since the launch of CRFweb, the Clindox team have been banging the drum about the end of paper -based clinical trials. As suppliers of an EDC application with eCRF, ePRO , eTMF you could argue we’re not the most objective observers on the subject but we are passionate about it and want to help people realise there are viable alternatives. We understand why people like paper, you can touch it, physically see the fruits of your labour; and if someone needs to audit your study, you can point them to a large filing cabinet.

You can trust paper, and it’s how you’ve always done it. In general people can be resistant to change, it takes us out of our comfort zone and why change something that works just because its slow and labour intensive?

Well pen and paper are yesterday’s technologies, filing cabinets take up a lot of space, use up a lot of paper and extracting information from that paper can be a torturous process. And that time has a significant cost.

It’s quite common for organisations to collect data on paper and then at a later stage upload that information onto some form of electronic database. Some of our clients do that and we are more than happy to help them import files and create a retrospective eCRF to mirror their paper one. For some organisations this is the first step to making the change and helps provide the proof of case they are looking for.

Essentially though, there are 4 reasons why trials are still done on paper. A mix of, understandable, concern and perhaps a lack of clarity with respect to the improved options available to handle them electronically.

If you’re still involved in paper based trials, please download our ‘Four Reasons to Move From Paper’ info sheet and see if one or more of those reasons strikes a chord. Of course there may be a fifth reason, if you have one, please let us know!