A room full of movers and shakers in healthcare gathered in mid-September in Brentwood, Tenn. to discuss the current state of clinical research and life sciences trends and topics. This event, part of the League, is an invitation only leadership-networking group for young professionals in the healthcare industry.

This exclusive group of leaders included three panelists –Chase Spurlock, PhD, founder and CEO at IQuity, David M. Vulcano, VP, research compliance and integrity at HCA Healthcare, and David Windley, managing director and founder at Jefferies, LLC. – and moderator Andrei Javier, MD. Dr. Javier serves as a senior clinical services and total health management consultant at Mercer.

The group debated issues, promoted each other and fostered real collaboration among various sub-segments within the healthcare industry while discussing these major challenges and trends specific to clinical research and life sciences.

The Challenges

A common theme throughout the discussion revolved around finding the right patients and the correct number of patients to begin a clinical trial. Some agreed this stems from the referral process, while others felt it was reflective of a lack of education for physicians on how to get the right patients involved. Educating physicians across specialties on new and ongoing clinical trials is a tall task, but technological advances are making it a more efficient and personalized process. Many agreed that digital innovation and the use of data will play a pivotal role in being able to identify ongoing clinical trials as well as standardizing the use of ICD-10 codes to populate related and advantageous clinical trial options for eligible patients. But the challenge remains around data accuracy. As Spurlock shared, “There is no single data set that holds absolute truth. We live in an era where 100% accuracy is hard to achieve. Depending on the protocols in use, achieving a 5-10% improvement can lead to significant improvements in healthcare outcomes or costs.”

There was also heavy debate throughout the morning as to how the industry will balance technology with talent management to get the right patients in the right trials. As Windley stated, “The overall clinical research enterprise leans heavily on a small portion of the practicing medical community with a high turnover rate.”

The Opportunity

While panelists and attendees discussed the challenges, there was also a great deal of conversation around where the industry needs to move. The group considered what would be the clinical trial “dream state,” where trial enrollees could participate from their homes, shifting to meet patients where they are instead of where the trial leader happens to be located. This approach relies on data and standardization, starting with EMRs. It focuses on standardizing the process for data collection and management across platforms, health systems and health plans to see a full 360-degree view of a patient. The concept of “data-at-flight” versus “data-at-rest” was used by Vulcano to talk about how researchers are using data for predictive analysis. CROs want to be able to utilize technology to identify the patients that should enroll in a trial, thus removing the need for physicians to identify and recommend patients. There was agreement among those in attendance that this “dream state,” once fully achieved, will be revolutionary for the industry.

If you are interested in participating in our next League event, please contact us to be added to the distribution list. We hope to see you there!

About the League
The League is an invitation only leadership-networking group for young professionals in the healthcare industry. We debate issues, promote each other, and foster real collaboration among various sub-segments within the healthcare industry.