Number of pages: 100 | Report Format: PDF | Published date: May 29, 2023
Historical Years – 2021 | Base Year – 2022 | Forecasted Years – 2023 to 2031
According to the deep-dive market assessment study by Growth Plus Reports, the global virtual clinical trials market was valued at US$ 7.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 5.58% to reach US$ 11.5 billion by 2031.
Virtual clinical trials Market Fundamentals
Virtual clinical trials, or remote or decentralized clinical trials, are a modern approach to conducting clinical research that leverages digital technologies to collect data from participants remotely. Unlike traditional clinical trials that typically require participants to visit a physical site, virtual trials allow participants to contribute data from the comfort of their own homes. In virtual clinical trials, various technologies are utilized to facilitate data collection, participant monitoring, and communication between researchers and participants. These technologies can include mobile health apps, wearable devices, telemedicine platforms, electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) tools, and secure online portals.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market Dynamics
Advances in digital health technologies, such as mobile devices, wearable sensors, telemedicine platforms, and electronic health records, have enabled the implementation of virtual clinical trials. These technologies facilitate remote data collection, real-time monitoring, and seamless communication between researchers and participants. There is a growing emphasis on patient-centricity in clinical research. Virtual trials offer greater convenience, reduced burden, and increased accessibility for participants, leading to improved patient engagement and retention. This patient-centric approach aligns with the goals of personalized medicine and patient empowerment. Virtual trials can potentially streamline the clinical trial process, reducing costs and timelines. Virtual trials enable participation from a wider pool of potential participants. Additionally, advances in cybersecurity measures and adherence to privacy regulations have improved confidence in the security of virtual trial processes, driving their adoption.
However, the regulatory landscape for virtual clinical trials is still evolving. There may be challenges in adapting existing regulations and guidelines to accommodate the unique aspects of virtual trials. Ensuring data integrity and minimizing data variability can be challenging, as researchers have limited control over data collection processes compared to traditional site-based trials. Efforts are needed to establish robust data validation and quality control mechanisms. Unequal access to technology or inadequate technological infrastructure in certain regions or populations can hinder participation and introduce bias in study populations. Addressing these disparities is critical to ensure equitable access to virtual trials. Remote data collection raises ethical considerations regarding informed consent processes, privacy protection, and participant comprehension of study requirements. Furthermore, maintaining data security and privacy is paramount to protecting participant confidentiality and complying with data protection regulations. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures, data encryption, and secure data storage systems are essential. Virtual trials often require collaborations between multiple stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, CROs, technology providers, and healthcare providers. Coordinating these collaborations, establishing standardized processes, and integrating different technologies and systems can be complex and require significant effort, further hindering the market growth.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market Ecosystem
The global virtual clinical trials market has been analyzed from three perspectives: by design, indication, phase, and region.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market by Design
Based on the design, the global virtual clinical trials market is segmented into observational, interventional, and expanded access.
Interventional design dominated the global virtual clinical trials market with more than 45.76% of the revenue share in 2022. Interventional trials involve the evaluation of new treatments or interventions, such as investigational drugs, medical devices, or behavioral interventions. These trials typically require participants to receive a specific intervention and monitor its effectiveness and safety. Virtual trial methodologies can efficiently capture treatment response, adverse events, and compliance data, making interventional design a natural fit. Interventional trials often have well-defined primary and secondary endpoints to measure treatment outcomes. These endpoints can include clinical assessments, laboratory tests, patient-reported outcomes, or other objective measurements. Interventional trials require vigilant monitoring of participant safety throughout the study. With virtual trial technologies, adverse events, vital signs, and other safety parameters can be continuously monitored remotely. This real-time monitoring allows for the early detection of safety concerns, enabling timely intervention and participant protection. Interventional trials often rely on accurate data collection, including participant-reported outcomes, treatment compliance, and adherence to study protocols. Blinded and randomized designs are common in interventional trials to minimize biases and assess treatment efficacy. Virtual trials can incorporate these design elements, such as randomization algorithms and blinding procedures, through secure online platforms and centralized systems. This ensures the integrity and rigor of the trial design while maintaining participant blinding and allocation concealment. Interventional trials often require larger sample sizes to achieve sufficient statistical power for robust analysis and reliable results.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market by Indication
Based on the indication, the global virtual clinical trials market is segmented into CNS, autoimmune/inflammation, cardiovascular disease, metabolic/endocrinology, infectious disease, oncology, genitourinary, ophthalmology, and others.
Oncology accounted for nearly 32.01% of the market share in 2022, thus dominating the global market due to the high prevalence rate of cancer among people. For instance, according to the ‘American Cancer Society,’ in 2022, it was estimated that nearly 1.9 million cancer cases were diagnosed, and 609,360 cancer deaths were recorded in the United States. Oncology trials often require a large and diverse patient population to achieve statistically significant results. Virtual trial methodologies enable access to a broader geographic area, allowing researchers to reach patients who may be located far from specialized cancer centers or research institutions. This expanded reach enhances patient recruitment and diversity in oncology trials. Oncology trials typically involve long-term follow-up and monitoring of patients to assess treatment response, survival rates, and long-term outcomes. Virtual trial technologies facilitate remote and continuous monitoring, allowing researchers to collect real-time data on disease progression, adverse events, and treatment adherence over extended periods. This longitudinal monitoring is well-suited for the nature of oncology trials. Virtual trials can reduce the burden on patients by minimizing the need for in-person visits. Remote data collection, telemedicine consultations, and home-based interventions can improve patient convenience and quality of life. Oncology is at the forefront of personalized medicine, where treatments are tailored to individual patient characteristics, biomarkers, and genetic profiles. The use of virtual trial methodologies aligns well with the objectives of personalized oncology care. Virtual trials allow researchers to collect real-world data on cancer patients' experiences, treatment outcomes, and quality of life in their natural environments. This real-world data complements the controlled settings of traditional clinical trials and provides valuable insights into how treatments are performed in everyday clinical practice. Real-world evidence can support the understanding of treatment effectiveness and inform clinical decision-making.
Additionally, these oncology trials often involve collaborations between multiple institutions, including academic centers, cancer clinics, and research networks. Virtual trial methodologies facilitate seamless communication, data sharing, and collaboration among these stakeholders, regardless of geographical distances. The infrastructure and networks established in oncology research make it conducive to the implementation of virtual trial methodologies. The field of oncology is characterized by rapid therapeutic advancements and the urgent need to develop and evaluate new treatments. Virtual trials can streamline the trial process, reduce timelines, and accelerate the assessment of novel therapies. This agility and efficiency are crucial in the context of oncology research, where timely access to effective treatments is paramount.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market by Phase
Based on the phase, the global virtual clinical trials market is segmented into phase I, phase II, and phase III.
Phase II trials dominated the global virtual clinical trials market with approximately 29.87% of market share in 2022. Phase II trials assess the safety and efficacy of new treatments or interventions in a relatively smaller population compared to Phase III trials. The smaller sample size and shorter duration of Phase II trials make them more feasible to conduct using virtual trial methodologies. The reduced scale and risk associated with Phase II trials make them an attractive starting point for implementing innovative approaches like virtual trials. Phase II trials are generally less resource-intensive and costly compared to Phase III trials, which often involve larger sample sizes and longer study durations. Virtual trial methodologies can further enhance resource efficiency by reducing the need for physical site visits, centralized data monitoring, and streamlined data collection processes. The cost savings associated with virtual trials make them particularly appealing for Phase II studies. Phase II trials provide critical data to inform go/no-go decisions for further development of investigational treatments. Virtual trial methodologies enable faster data collection and analysis, allowing researchers and sponsors to make timely decisions regarding treatment efficacy, safety, and progression to Phase III trials. The accelerated decision-making process enhances the efficiency of Phase II trials. Phase II trials often involve testing novel treatments, including targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and personalized medicine approaches. Virtual trial methodologies can efficiently collect and analyze genomic data, patient-specific biomarkers, and treatment responses, supporting the evaluation of innovative treatments and facilitating personalized medicine approaches. The ability to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and personalized approaches aligns well with Phase II trials.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market by Region
Based on the region, the global virtual clinical trials market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
North America dominated the virtual clinical trials market with more than 49.7% of the market share in 2022. Over the predicted period, the area is likely to retain its dominance. This can be ascribed to increased R&D in this area, which is one of the primary reasons driving the growth of the worldwide virtual clinical trials market. For instance, the government of Canada announced the establishment of the Clinical Trials Fund (CTF) in June 2022, with a US$ 250 million investment for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The government's goal is to enhance Canadians' health outcomes while also ensuring that Canada is well-positioned to respond to future pandemics and other health issues.
While Asia Pacific, on the other hand, is predicted to have the fastest increasing CAGR in the forecast period. This is due to the increased availability of a big patient pool, which allows for faster candidate recruitment and greater penetration of digital technologies in the region.
Virtual Clinical Trials Market Competitive Landscape
The prominent players operating in the global virtual clinical trials market are:
Virtual Clinical Trials Market Competitive Landscape
Virtual clinical trials, or remote or decentralized clinical trials, are a modern approach to conducting clinical research that leverages digital technologies to collect data from participants remotely.
ICON Plc., IQVIA, Covance, and PRA Health Sciences are some of the key market players in the global virtual clinical trials market.
Technology & infrastructure limitations and problems related to cyber security are some of the restraints obstructing the growth of the global market.
Oncology segment dominates the global virtual clinical trials market.
The growing need for novel products and the increasing prevalence of chronic disease are some of the major factors driving the global market.
*Insights on financial performance are subject to the availability of information in the public domain