Steps to the Cloud

Clinical Trials Migration Strategy

2020 has inspired many good things too. 2021 Clinical Trials world is buzzing with inspiration for a shift towards  “the Cloud”. There is an unmistakable growing acceptance and interest in cloud-based IT landscapes. 

Clinical Trials On-Line

Paradigm Shift is happening partly because many now manage their personal lives with cloud-based “online tools”. Thus people post 2020 more than ever do expect the same convenience and performance in their work lives, as they demand and expect in their personal home IT endeavors. 

That is a welcome change. Health Industry Corporate Customers, post 2020 more than ever, want and need the advanced functionality and improved experience. Not to mention the regulatory pressure, massively increased post 2020. We at Perls Clinic know: solutions are only feasible to implement through cloud computing. This is perhaps true in every industry and especially true in health care organizations 2021.

But. The Clinical Trials paradigm shift to the Cloud isn’t happening en masse, yet. Why?

Legacy health information systems (HIS) do represent decades of investment and development, and encapsulate a deep understanding of clinical trials and health care and HIS operations in general.

Also, legacy systems are built with legacy technologies. Not ready to easily migrate to the Cloud, especially HIS data at scale. Clinical Trials Management Systems migrations to the Cloud mean new online parts need to be developed, architected, and designed. 

Always an significant effort that takes time. And demands investment. We at Pearls Clinic want to deliver sooner in order to improve the Clinical Trials. Thus create new capabilities, test and tune them and help our customers succeed.

Our key Architectural Vision is one of “staged” solutions.

As the whole  Clinical Trials IT landscape migration is orchestrated, staged solution that consists of parts in the Cloud and some functionality on-premises. Through proven communication protocol driven, Pearl Clinic distributed Architecture, staged and modular functionality integrates seamlessly. For example, Cloud based, computer assisted coding functionality can generate the Clinical Trials content in the Cloud, while end users desktop legacy apps integrate with the new content transparently replicated from the Cloud.

In our experience vendors do adopt a staged approach as part of a migration strategy to help customers move to the Cloud generation of products and services. In the same time customers do reap the benefits of new infrastructure without significant disruptions or the need to launch and pay upfront for a major “big bang” upset of the proven and mature processes unrelated to the underlying infrastructure.

Considering a staged solution approach, we advise our customers to observe this set of core indicators in order to recognize a solid migration strategy:

  • Does the vendor offer a “low risk” adoption for its systems? 
    • The Clinical Trial project should be able to opt-in and use the new tool at any level only if that makes sense to them and only when ready. 
  • Is clear fallback to the legacy features if necessary, planned?
  • Does the vendor has a clear, and detailed plan for data security and privacy in the Cloud
  • Does implementation offers reuse of the existing architecture?   
    • Can the current UI be used with minimal changes, for example
  • Are Cloud features planned tied to a specific legacy feature?  
    • They should not be, Cloud and Legacy parts should be decoupled as much as possible.
  • What is the offered performance boost v.s. the legacy system?  
    • Since more processing will be offloaded to the Cloud.  
  • Is improved performance scaling up?   
    • All end users should be able to take advantage of the improved performance and new functionality.

User eXperience

UX is the last but most important “checkpoint” of a good migration strategy. The staged migration should offer better functionality and improved user experience, very early in the process. That is a sign of an obvious and immediate return on investment.

If the above factors are in place, vendors competing around Clinical Trials Cloud Migrations are offering the right direction and the ever-important first but right step for the CLinical Trial into the future of the online service.

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