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CTTI Updates DCT Recommendations in Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 forced the clinical trials ecosystem to plan and conduct research in remote or virtual settings. In an effort to support this shift, CTTI is launching a project to update its Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCT) recommendations to ensure they reflect the latest learnings and emerging best practices from the pandemic.


CTTI’s current DCT recommendations, which launched in 2018 and focus on the use of telemedicine, mobile and local healthcare providers, and related topics, were the most frequently downloaded document on CTTI’s website in 2020, reflecting the increased demand for decentralized solutions in times of COVID-19.


This new project aims to support the accelerating adoption of DCT solutions in clinical trials going forward. The updated recommendations will focus on selecting and operationalizing DCT solutions, ensuring effective safety monitoring, and appreciating the needs and perspectives of investigators, sites, and participants.


This effort builds on CTTI’s initial recognition that running a DCT does not have to be all or nothing. DCTs can be completely virtual, but many will be partially decentralized using a hybrid approach. Regardless of where a trial falls on the decentralized continuum, it is always important to:

  • Plan ahead as much as possible
  • Involve all stakeholders early and often
  • Focus on what matters
  • Communicate and be transparent

Sponsors and CROs can use the revised recommendations to design a fit-for-purpose, efficient DCT—one that can reduce patient burden, improve enrollment, and more closely replicate real-world populations and scenarios.