Optimizing the Clinical Development Process with Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud (SMAC)

August 3, 2017 David Kiger

This year’s trending topics are sure to raise eyebrows with pharmaceutical industry headlines discussing the use of virtual reality, wearable technologies, and eSource in clinical studies. But will these eyebrow raises translate into real changes in the way we run trials? It has been shown that we often read the headlines without really digesting and implementing the ideas, and one needs only review the Time magazine article “What You Think You Know About The Web Is Wrong”, written by ChartBeat CEO Tony Haile, to see how the web tends to focus more on getting your attention versus inspiring action.  Tony explains how on the web a stunning 55% of readers spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page.  This same phenomenon is easily applied to our industry, and we need to be mindful of how fast the attention seems to wander into the ‘next’ conversation while not realizing the potential value from the current one. So how do we translate attention into action when speaking about Clinical Development Optimization (CDO)? 

One of the leading ways to drive messaging and innovation today is through targeted use of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud).  All four of these technologies must be embraced together, because it is the synergy of them working in unison that generates results. We start by using:


  • Online communities can increase patient awareness and engagement
  • Web-listening provides real-time trends and conversations for insights into feasibility, competitor landscape and new treatments.


  • SMS messaging can improve patient engagement and retention
  • Barcode/QR code apps help simplify and accelerate medication arriva
  • Logistics tracking can reduce distribution challenges for real-time temperature monitoring


  • Intelligent data can help identify potential patients, sites and investigators
  • Using data for study surveillance can increase the effectiveness of day-to-day management and decision-making
  • Predictive visualizations can improve costs and day-to-day monitoring activities


  • Business Process-as-a-service (BPaaS) solutions integrate business processes and technologies from multiple functions
  • Centralized hosting helps clients focus on the core competency of data security and prevents hacking
  • Data Standards enhance downstream capture and regulatory submissions


My recent article Leveraging the Force  builds on these ideas to help you navigate the current landscape with some best practices on how Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Technologies are optimizing clinical development. 

Or if you only have 15 seconds to spare, have a look at this SMAC infographic.


David Kiger, VP Product Strategy, PAREXEL Informatics
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