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Decentralized Clinical Trials: Changing Perceptions

Last century, the internet was new and consumers were skeptical about handing over their credit card details to an online retailer. Two decades later, e-commerce transactions have become second nature to all of us. Most people prefer to shop online, and a near majority of millennials are even using voice assistants to make their purchases. Many of us couldn’t imagine it any other way and wouldn’t want to. This is the way we like it now. Our perception has changed. 
E-commerce fulfilled its promise to change the way we do business so thoroughly it’s hard to remember why anyone ever hesitated to embrace it. Payment processors and encryption have laid rest the fears of identity theft and fraud. Some experts predicted a “retail apocalypse”, others characterized the whole internet as a fad. But the e-commerce industry grows stronger and faster every day as if totally uninhibited by anything, from the spectacularly wrong to the merely slow to adopt.  
It is true that brick and mortar chains have been left behind. It was also inevitable. Technology is not neutral. It’s trans-formative. Once that first click was made, a veritable arms race began, and the marketplace continues to innovate, with various models for product recommendations and subscription services, deliveries made by drones or fulfilled by employees of an emerging “On Demand Economy”. While at least grocery chains haven’t gone anywhere, not everyone shops for groceries the old-fashioned way anymore. There are new roles to play in society and we are no longer reluctant but rather we are eager to forge ahead. 
Decentralized Clinical Trials are the next horizon on the medical research frontier. Decentralized Clinical Trials will be to research what e-commerce was to retail, a natural progression. The benefits are self-evident. All the cost savings resulting from remote operations management and the reduction of infrastructure make it likewise inevitable, at some point. Can anyone say it won’t happen? The question is when. There are challenges to overcome and risks for early adopters as always, but all in all, there’s no more heavy lifting. E-commerce has already paved the way. The public has already been reoriented to be receptive.