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Using E-Technologies in Clinical Trials.

Contemporary Clinical Trials 2015;45(Part A):41-54. [doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.07.007]

Carmen L. Rosa, MS (Center for the Clinical Trials Network, NIDA), Aimee N. C. Campbell, PhD, MSW (Columbia University, NY Node), Gloria M. Miele, PhD (Columbia University, NY Node), Meg Brunner, MLIS (Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, PN Node), Erin L. Winstanley, PhD (University of Cincinnati, OV Node).

Clinical trials have been slow to incorporate e-technology (digital and electronic technology that utilizes mobile devices of the Internet) into the design and execution of studies. In the meantime, individuals and corporations/organizations are relying more on electronic platforms and most have incorporating such technology into their daily lives. This paper, written by five members of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, provides a general overview of the use of e-technologies in clinical trials research, specifically within the last decade, marked by rapid growth of mobile and Internet-based tools. Benefits of and challenges to the use of e-technologies in data collection, recruitment and retention, delivery of interventions, and dissemination are provided, as well as a description of the current status of regulatory oversight of e-technologies in clinical trials research. As an example of ways in which e-technologies can be used for intervention delivery, a summary of e-technologies for the treatment of substance use disorders is presented, including the Therapeutic Education System studied in protocol CTN-0044 of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, making trials more efficient while also reducing costs. However, researchers should be cautious when adopting these tools given the many challenges in uses new technologies, as well as threats to participant privacy/confidentiality.

Conclusions: Challenges of using e-technologies in each stage of a clinical trial can be overcome with careful planning, useful partnerships, and forethought. The role of web- and smartphone-based applications is expanding, and the increasing use of those platforms by scientists and the public alike make them tools that cannot be ignored. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2015)

Keywords: Data collection | Dissemination strategies | Internet counseling | Recruitment | Retention | Social media | Technology-based interventions | Contemporary Clinical Trials (journal)

Document No: 1167, PMID: 26176884, PMCID: PMC4648297.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 9/1/2015.


Brunner, Meg mail
Campbell, Aimee N. C. mail
Miele, Gloria M. mail
Rosa, Carmen L. mail
Winstanley, Erin L. mail
NIDA-CTN-0044 www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
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