The global virtual clinical trials market is expected to witness growth from 2020 to 2027, owing to the increasing healthcare digitization, the paucity of time in clinical trials, the need for patient diversity clubbed with enhanced data collection in clinical trials, and adoption of telehealth. Furthermore, there has been an upsurge in the R&D of new vaccines and drugs that has increased the complexity & volume of clinical trials. Virtual clinical trials (VCT) eliminate challenges posed by traditional clinical trials such as time-consuming procedures and delay in patient recruitment that has driven the demand for the virtual clinical trial market. Moreover, technological advancements in healthcare infrastructure and alliances between biotechnology, pharmaceutical & clinical research organization are anticipated to boost the virtual clinical trials market growth in the near future.
The global COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus has led to lockdown and curfews thereby impacted several businesses worldwide. There has been an increasing demand for the development of medicines and vaccines to curb the outbreak. This has led to an increase in digital/virtual clinical trials as these can be conducted via a digital platform. The VCTs minimize the travel burden on both the staff and the participants and reduce the risk of infection. Such advantages have further fueled the digital clinical trials market growth.
On the basis of study design, the virtual clinical trials market is segmented into interventional trials, expanded access trials & observational trials. The interventional trial segment is expected to register the highest market share due to an increasing number of studies to develop new medications for various diseases. Furthermore, the digitalization of various laboratories has fueled the market growth for the segment. The observational trials segment is the fastest-growing segment followed by the expanded access trials.
Based on the implication, the virtual/digital clinical trials market is segmented into oncology, cardiovascular disorders, and other diseases. The oncology segment is anticipated to gain popularity during the forecast period due to the increasing number of cancer cases worldwide. For instance, according to the American Cancer Society, in 2019, 1 million U.S. citizens were diagnosed with cancer. This increasing prevalence of the disease is fueling the demand for the rising R&D of oncology drugs. Thus, fostering the segment growth. Cardiovascular disease is the fastest-growing segment. The other segment includes dermatological diseases, Alzheimer's, and other auto-immune disorders.
Based on the region, the virtual/digital clinical trials market is segmented into five regions. North America dominated the regional market as of 2019 followed by the European market. This dominance could be attributed to the favorable public and private funding for the R&D activities, and the presence of major players with enhanced virtual trial solutions has fueled the growth of the market. The Asia Pacific region will be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the rising outsourced research and development activities in this region to deliver advanced healthcare. Furthermore, increasing per capita income and favorable government initiatives coupled with is boosting the market growth.
The major market players include ICON plc, LEO Innovation Lab, Science 37, PRA Health Sciences, Clinical Ink, Parexel, Medable, Oracle, CRF Health, Medidata, and Covance. These companies are involved in new product launch, strategic collaborations, and acquisitions, & regional expansions. For instance, in April 2020, Accelerated Enrollment Solutions collaborate to increase patient enrolment and recruitment and provide continuity solutions for clinical trials that have been currently affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
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