Clinical trial tech is 'circa 1995' and needs modernization, former FDA exec says

Clinical trials' technology and data collection practices still look "circa 1995," Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, told Politico in a May 4 report.

Dr. Abernethy served as the FDA's principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO from 2019-21. She left the agency to join Verily, Alphabet's life sciences arm, and work on its efforts to modernize clinical trials. 

In-person clinical trials are the norm, but the requirement for continued on-site participation makes it difficult for many people in underserved communities to be included, the report said.

Verily is building software to facilitate remote clinical trial participation and seamless data aggregation. Other efforts to modernize clinical trials include extracting more information from EHRs and using wearables to gather more data, according to the report.

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