IRT for clinical trials: Key features to look for

Interactive Response Technology (IRT) is an umbrella term that includes Interactive Web Response (IWRS) and Interactive Voice Response (IVRS) systems. These tools serve a critical role in ensuring clinical trials run smoothly, and as technologies develop, their capabilities only continue to expand.

IRT systems enable sites to simplify the enrollment and randomization process, either through a phone or web entry system. Once an individual’s information is inputted into the system, an algorithm calculates which branch of the study to send them to, making randomization truly blind. The system also automatically tracks drug supplies and places orders as needed to ensure supply levels are accurate.

Beyond these basic offerings, today’s IRT systems often include additional features — but because each one is different, it’s important to compare features thoroughly. Below, we have included some helpful things to consider when researching IRT systems; read on to learn more.

Key IRT system features for clinical trial management

Simple protocol customization

When IVR systems were first introduced, they required a fully customized setup that often took weeks to execute. Today, IWR systems make it easy to make updates to a study protocol or algorithm — however, they are not all equally user-friendly. Asking how involved the site team can be with setup, protocol changes, and other updates can provide insight into how flexible a system is in advance.

Predictive supply chain management

In blinded studies, site administrators do not know which patients receive what drugs and are thus unable to manually order supplies. Many IRT systems can be programmed with algorithms that track factors such as enrollment, dosage, and drop-out rates to accurately maintain the right drug supply levels. They can also automate the reordering process so it is as hands-off as possible for the site staff.

Integration with other systems

Most studies make use of multiple systems to manage different aspects of the clinical trial, so it is important to make sure that the IRT system can communicate with other tools that may be employed to create a seamless process.

Patient engagement capabilities

Many IRT systems have recognized the importance of patient-centricity in clinical trials and built features accordingly. Once a patient is screened through the IRT, it may be possible to have automated communications sent to patients. This can simplify the process of communicating dosage instructions, trial updates, site visit reminders, and other engaging materials, creating a better experience for the site and the study participants.

Reporting features

In addition to helping a trial run smoothly, IRT systems can also create reports that can help the study team. This reporting frequency can be adjusted, even allowing for reporting as the data comes to provide real-time updates on the supply chain.

If you’d like to learn more about how Antidote can help connect you with the right patients and reduce the burden on site staff, get in touch with us today.