October 31, 2023

This year’s SCDM Annual Conference, billed as The Festival of Clinical Data Science, took place from October 8-11. More than 800 attendees–including several members of Viedoc Technologies—congregated at the at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront to network, demo, and discuss AI, Decentralized Clinical Trials, and everything between. Here’s a recap. 

Human and Tech at SCDM 2023

Viedoc presented our latest campaign, which playfully symbolizes the transformation that Data Managers undergo when using our eClinical suite in their studies. 

This campaign positions our Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform as a transformative tool for clinical data managers, enabling them to enhance their abilities and accelerate the clinical trial process. It highlights the synergy between human expertise and technology, emphasizing how this partnership can address critical challenges in clinical research and contribute to a healthier world.

Overall, the campaign aims to position Viedoc as an innovative and user-friendly EDC platform that empowers clinical data managers and enhances the efficiency of clinical trials, ultimately leading to more impactful discoveries in less time. One of the Viedoc team even dressed up to add a special element to our booth at SCDM 2023 and invite visitors to take a picture. Visit the Viedoc LinkedIn page for more images and news from SCDM 2023.

The Hot Topic at SCDM 2023

The three-day event offered visitors more than 50 informative sessions by over 120 speakers to choose from—with the topic of AI dominating many of them. 

A case in point is that of the keynote speech, given this year by Kay Firth-Butterfield, AI expert at the World Economic Forum and CEO of consultancy firm Good Tech Advisory. She described how AI is at a crossroads, with the question of ethics driving or hindering the way forward. 

Broadly speaking, Firth-Butterfield advocates using AI and believes the technology has great potential to enhance global prosperity, security, and social good. But she also warns of how generative AI and other generative technologies could seriously erode privacy and other fundamental rights and impact privacy. “Already, significant amounts of personal data, including sensitive data, are being used to train and develop AI applications,” she writes in a related OECD AI blog post.

Discussions around the use of AI and ML in clinical data management permeated most corners of SCDM 2023, including the SCDM Leadership Forum. Many in attendance said they were keen explore the usage of these technologies in the clinical trials space, and they were considering the processes needed to safeguard the sensitive data we work with when considering AI use, and the impact on personnel.

A growing consensus among those who took part in the Leadership Forum formed around the notion that we should continue to explore AI and ML technologies—via hackathons and in imaginative ways—even if in the end those ideas cannot be applied to our heavily regulated industry. This will guarantee that we stay up to date with what is achievable.

AI already in use at larger pharmas

Representatives from some of the larger pharmaceutical companies present shared that they are starting to use AI in novel ways. The most common is through using ChatGPT 4.0 to rapidly develop R code and simplify the process of analyzing clinical trial data. 

The general thought around impact on personnel is that AI and ML will become something that everyone in our industry will be using within our lifetimes—whether we like it or not. People will adapt, and we will need to be sensitive to the fact that some will be able to grasp advanced new technologies like these easier than others. Managers should account for this and work with employees to ensure that they are empowered to stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment.

During the SCDM Leadership Forum, there were interesting discussions by some other speakers.  Ward Lemaire, Head of Data Management, Johnson&Johnson explored how the implementation of AI and ML are shaping other industries and asked how we distinguish hype from reality in its implementation in Clinical Data Management. Similarly, Catherine Célingant, Executive Director, Clinical Data Sciences, Pfizer examined how AI and ML offer new tools for clinical trials but that they also come with pitfalls and limitations which must be understood to effectively de-risk their implementation. 

Product Showcase: Apple Watch integration

Sverre Bengtsson and Greg Tullo from Viedoc Technologies presented a Product Showcase using an Apple Watch integration, which expanded into integrations in general along with Viedoc Connect.

Viedoc Connect is our telemedicine solution for decentralized trials that enables secure video calls. This technology allows for eConsent facilitation, pre-screening, recruitment, and remote follow-up visits, enhancing patient engagement and data quality. Patients can access it from various devices, and it offers features for remote education and access management.

Sverre spent much of SCDM 2023 meeting old and new contacts within clinical data management. He spoke briefly to Michael Goedde, Vice President, Global Data Operations, at Dublin-based contract research organization ICON, which you can see on his LinkedIn page along with other updates directly from the event.

Viedoc attends many conferences and summits each year and will be on tour for the rest of the year. We hope to see you in person at one of these events.

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