GVR Report cover Virtual Clinical Trials Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Virtual Clinical Trials Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Study Design (Interventional, Observational, Expanded Access), By Indication (Oncology, Cardiovascular), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Mar, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-239-7
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 120

Report Overview

The global virtual clinical trials market size was estimated at USD 7.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2021 to 2028. The market is majorly driven by the rise in R&D activities, the increasing healthcare digitization, as well as adoption of telehealth. Besides, technological advancements, alliances between clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies as well as supportive government initiatives are anticipated to drive the market.

U.S. virtual clinical trials market size, by study design, 2016 - 2028 (USD Billion)

Virtual clinical trials, also called remote or Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCTs) are relatively new methods of conducting clinical research taking full advantage of technologies such as apps, electronic monitoring devices, and online social engagement platforms. A virtual/decentralized trial follows a patient-centered approach, allowing for a more conventional trial experience for the participant along with enhanced data collection, increased diversity of patients, and time savings from the perspective of the trial duration. It takes complete advantage of many digital tools available and is characterized by no physical visits to the trial site. There is no shortage of terms or labels being utilized to define the concept of virtual/decentralized trials. From virtual to mobile-enabled, to direct-to-patient, to remote, to software-enabled, to site-less, to modern, to 21st-century clinical trials, to flexible, and to digitally-enabled.

The current pandemic of COVID-19 is making the clinical trial industry change the way of conducting ongoing or upcoming experiments. This year has changed people’s lives upside down. The stay-at-home or quarantine orders are being followed everywhere and the clinical trial industry is no exception. As per the Continuum Clinical report published in April 2020, approximately 30% of the surveyed clinical trial places are projected to have a huge impact on recruiting patients for new trial studies as well as retaining already-enrolled patients compliant with their study schedules. Also, 81% of the European clinical trial study sites and 56% of the U.S. sites indicated that the patients are less likely to continue participating in studies. Besides, as of March 30, around 30 pharma or biotech companies have reported disruption to a trial as a result of the crisis.

Virtual trials also known as decentralized trials have a significant role to play in the present COVID-19 crisis and are set to become a norm in the way trials and real-world studies are run. A virtual/decentralized method lets people participate in the trial from their homes ensuring that the clinical research can happen without visiting the site, hence, representing a novel approach of collecting safety and efficacy data from participants of clinical studies.

Virtual visits and remote patient monitoring of in-person site visits give participants a choice and peace of mind of not exposing them to unnecessary risks. The virtual/decentralized studies enable sponsors to include a larger population in the study, thus improving recruitment, engagement, and retention. Also, it enables continuous real-time data collection through digital health technologies. Eventually, virtual connectivity, monitoring as well as management can significantly decrease the effort, time commitment, and burden on the participants, CRCs, and investigators.

Study Design Insights

The interventional design segment led the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 46.6% in 2020. The rapid increase in the number of experiments to develop novel medications for various diseases and the digitalization of laboratories is driving the segment growth. The outbreak of coronavirus has raised the demand for testing and trials of new drugs and vaccines to combat the situation around the world, as the traditional method of clinical trials comes with a huge risk of infection of people. This, in turn, is propelling the growth of the interventional design segment for virtual/decentralized trials.

The virtual trials are better suited for chronic diseases as well as less interventional observational studies including cardiovascular diseases, immunology, gastrointestinal, dermatology, respiratory, and endocrinology. The firm that first started this concept conducted an entire interventional Phase2b “site-less” clinical trial with 372 patients across 10 states using their proprietary mobile telemedicine-based platform namely “NORA”.

Indication Insights

The oncology segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 25.0% in 2020. The segment is also anticipated to contribute to maximum revenue share during the forecast period. This is attributed to the rising cases of cancer globally and the increasing number of oncology clinical trials. Cancer patients are the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investigators and sponsors managing oncology clinical trials have quickly incorporated virtual and remote trials to keep patients safe.

Global virtual clinical trials market share, by indication, 2020 (%)

Besides, cancer researchers face considerable challenges in patient recruitment. Till June 2019, approximately 14,000 oncology trials were actively recruited with a participation rate of 3% to 8% of possible candidates, with a limited number in geriatric and minority populations. Low rate of enrollment poses risks to the success of specific clinical studies; they may hamper the treatment advances and corresponding benefits to outcomes. Hence, the low recruitment rate and the need for a diverse population for oncology clinical studies are anticipated to boost the adoption of virtual/decentralized clinical trials.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the Virtual/Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCTs) market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 49.4% in 2020. The region is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. This can be attributed to increasing R&D in this region, increasing the adoption of new technologies in clinical research, and government support. Furthermore, market players are also using digital technologies to meet client needs. For instance, Parexel performed more than 100 decentralized trials including hybrid and virtual/decentralized approaches. Covance also has around 1,900 LabCorp patient service centers across the U.S. to bring virtual/decentralized clinical trials to patients.

In Asia Pacific, the market is anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period owing to the increasing availability of a large patient pool enabling easy recruitment of candidates and enhanced penetration of digital technologies in the region. Furthermore, the outbreak of coronavirus is anticipated to boost the adoption of telemedicine, hence driving the market growth.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The significant factor affecting the competitive nature of the market is the quick adoption of advanced technologies for improved healthcare services. Besides, players are also acquiring, collaborating, partnering with other firms to gain market share. For instance, in May 2020, Covance announced expanding its technology ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of virtual/decentralized clinical trials. The company is doing so through an alliance with Medable, a prominent software provider for digital clinical trials. Some of the prominent players in the virtual/decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) market include:

  • ICON, plc

  • Parexel International Corporation


  • Covance

  • PRA Health Sciences

  • LEO Innovation Lab

  • Medidata

  • Oracle

  • CRF Health

  • Clinical Ink, Inc.

  • Medable, Inc.

Virtual Clinical Trials Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 7.8 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 11.5 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 5.7% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Study design, indication, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; India; Japan; China; Australia; South Korea; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; Colombia; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE

Key companies profiled

ICON, plc; Parexel International Corporation; IQVIA; Covance; PRA Health Sciences; LEO Innovation Lab; Medidata; Oracle; CRF Health; Clinical Ink, Inc.; Medable, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analyst’s working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global virtual clinical trials market report on the basis of study design, indication, and region:

  • Study Design Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Interventional

    • Observational

    • Expanded Access

  • Indication Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Oncology

    • Cardiovascular

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • India

      • Japan

      • China

      • Australia

      • South Korea

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

      • Colombia

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

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