Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of clinical trial activity took place face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant shift towards trial delivery without in person face to face contact or “Remote Trial Delivery”. The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) assembled a Remote Trial Delivery Working Group to consider challenges and enablers to this major change in clinical trial delivery and to provide a toolkit for researchers to support the transition to remote delivery. The toolkit comprises a website encompassing the key principles of Remote Trial Delivery, and a repository of best practice examples and questions to guide research teams. While born out of necessity, the use of remote trial delivery has opened new pathways for research. The development of RTD Guidance must run alongside and support the NIHRs agenda of inclusivity and flexibility within trial delivery, with the overall patient experience at the core.
Dr Camille Carroll is the NIHR CRN National Specialty Lead for Neurodegenerative Diseases, overseeing a balanced clinical trial portfolio in neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and motor neurone diseases. She leads the CRN Remote Trial Delivery working group and was a steering group member for NIHR Include. Her research is focused on neuroprotection, and the use of digital health technologies for disease monitoring and personalized care in PD. Dr Carroll was the chief investigator of a multi-centre clinical trial of simvastatin as a neuroprotective agent in Parkinson’s disease (PD STAT). She co-leads the Edmond J Safra ACT-PD initiative, developing a multi-arm, multi-stage trial platform for neuroprotective interventions in Parkinson’s. She leads the award-winning Parkinson’s service in Plymouth and has been internationally recognized for her patient centered work, broadening the opportunity for Parkinson’s research and improving support for patient care and self-management.