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How Advanced Data Collection Technologies Enable CROs to Expand Their Service Offerings

Contract Research Organizations (CRO) rely on providing the most advanced tools and processes to Sponsors to ensure clinical trial data collection success. Benefits to implementing the latest data collection technologies include:

  • Improved data integrity and efficiency: Sponsors more frequently utilize electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments (eCOA) in their clinical trials – providing significant benefits in timeliness, compliance, and data integrity. 
  • Remote data collection for flexibility and enhanced data quality: Collecting data remotely for electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) measures from patients wherever they are makes it easier to participate in studies. ePRO tools help overcome the inherent difficulties in interpreting patients’ handwriting on paper diaries, leading to improved data quality for Sponsors. 
  • Increased patient engagement: The level of convenience and engagement for patients improves when the ePRO application can be used on a patient’s personal mobile device. Compared to a paper-based diary approach, using a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) approach can improve data quality and increase compliance by as high as 97%

An advanced ePRO offering in the CRO service portfolio can enable significant incremental business opportunities and enhance the clinical trial experience for Sponsors and patients.Until now, a CRO interested in adding ePRO technology to its portfolio had limited options:

  • Build a new ePRO solution
  • Acquire an existing ePRO provider

Implementing a new ePRO technology offering

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The CRO should work with a partner that systematically transitions control over the implementation, deployment, and support of the ePRO solution to the CRO team. This partnership approach can enable CROs to implement an ePRO solution in-house by licensing flexible ePRO technology, purchasing support services à la carte, and ultimately creating a new revenue stream.

A successful technology transfer requires a delivery model where the vendor is willing to price their services separately and charge customers according to their use. In this way, CROs can configure a custom combination of ePRO technology and services that leverage the vendor’s existing resources for support while enabling the CRO to bill for the services it can provide, which might include some combination of project management, help desk, configuration, hardware procurement, inventory management, shipping, and support. Additionally, a CRO should consider a vendor that provides technology empowerment services, scientific expertise and dedicated technology training, to ensure deep collaboration throughout the process while the CRO develops the expertise to manage more of the revenue-generating services.

Generating Revenue

Working with a technology partner to offer an ePRO solution enables CROs to reduce costs, accelerate study startup, develop an additional revenue stream, and maintain complete control over the ePRO deployment. One key success factor is selecting a partner that offers a cloud-based, fit-for-purpose, UX-friendly technology that provides competitive benefits in the market. The CRO must also make sure the vendor provides fully-functional support services, such as assessment licensing, software implementation, and training.

When managing the technology transfer, it’s a good idea to deploy via a closely-managed, staged process customized to the CRO’s internal capabilities and resources. Such a program should offer in-depth technology training to enable nimble, dynamic clinical study configuration. It should also prepare the CRO commercial team to assess and quote new business opportunities.

In one example model, the ePRO vendor initially performs the work while training the CRO team. As the CRO shadows the vendor team and learns more, it will gradually assume more responsibilities based on its internal capabilities and resources to manage the entire end-to-end process. The well-trained CRO will then license the technology and offer ePRO implementation, deployment, and support services in its portfolio.


ePRO technologies address some of the most pressing patient-centric clinical trial study needs in the industry. It’s important that CROs find a way to use these tools efficiently. Now is the time for CROs to look ahead and consider the benefits of a partnership that supports adding this important technology solution to their service offerings.

Clinical ink offers a Partner Program which enables CROs to deploy fit-for-purpose technology solutions that provide best-in-class patient data collection in clinical trials.

To learn more, view our Partner Program Fact Sheet, or contact us.

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