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Our OnCore CTMS Vision: Building a Foundation for Success

More than two decades ago, we created the OnCore clinical trial management system (CTMS) to serve as a comprehensive solution for a large academic medical center (AMC) to manage their research operations. Over the next decade, dozens of academic medical centers across the country adopted the CTMS. OnCore has since expanded to serve cancer centers as well, including many National Cancer Institutes (NCI)-designated centers.

As our customer community grew, so did the capabilities of the platform itself. Throughout the past two decades, OnCore has extended to track not just the protocol calendar, but aspects such as individual subject visits and details around financials. The ability to generate and create financial records, invoicing, and any number of tools allowing customers the ability to use the system to track almost every piece of the clinical research lifecycle – everything pertaining to a trial.

These changes have all been in collaboration with our users with the customer in mind. When OnCore was first developed, many, if not all research centers had their own processes in place with no sense of centralization. There was very little industry-wide standardization directing research site operations. Driven by input from our ever-expanding customer community, OnCore has sought to deliver standardized workflows for critical aspects of clinical trial management, including protocol and participant management, financial management and billing compliance, internal site communication and collaboration, and much more.

This customer-informed innovation, driven by our amazing community of more than 5,000 research professionals, has established OnCore as an invaluable tool for AMCs and cancer centers over the past 20 years. But how can we ensure the system continues to serve research professionals for the next 20?

Where we are Heading

As research has advanced, there’s a higher priority put on capturing data – not just through clinical research, but through all aspects of the medical industry. In order to accommodate to this, moving forward, we are focusing on how we can continue to help aggregate clinical research data in a meaningful way – not just from a reporting perspective. On top of this, we want to ensure we have the performance and data storage necessary for the amount of data captured, and the ability to make inferences about clinical research from that data.

The data collection process for a clinical trial has numerous steps. However, this is an opportunity to collaborate and understand how the research community can make the best use of modern technology to remove some of these manual steps. This not only saves time, but reduces duplicate data entry and processes within an individual trial and a research organization as a whole.

Cloud Storage

As we look to the future of our CTMS, we want to make sure it’s built in such a way it can support workflows for decades to come. Our goal is to build our system on the most modern framework that exists for hosting an application of this type. Our solution for this is utilizing Cloud storage.

Hosting OnCore on Advarra’s Cloud architecture is advantageous in more ways than one. It lets us utilize more modern tooling, enables the application’s performance and accessibility to be constantly available, and allows space and interconnectivity for hosting all Advarra solutions.

Analytics and Business Intelligence

Analytics and business intelligence have significantly evolved over the past two decades. Whereas these capabilities were a “nice to have” toolset in the early days of CTMS platforms, they are now vital to successfully managing a research portfolio.

OnCore already provides a wealth of comprehensive reporting capabilities. Moving forward, our vision is to evolve these businesses intelligence capabilities, while leveraging a much broader set of data sources for reports and dashboards. Imagine site staff having access to dashboards sourcing data not just from OnCore, but also from eReg, eIRB, eSource/EDC, and other platforms. This cross-platform reporting approach has the potential to significantly improve the way high-volume sites manage their operations.

Additionally, we aim to make this tool as user friendly as possible. Staff turnover and training continue to be pain points for the research community, and easy to use analytics, reporting and data aggregation is one of the ways we hope to ease the burden on research staff.

Single Sign-on (SSO)

Single sign-on (SSO) is a well-established authentication mechanism allowing users to leverage a single set of credentials across multiple applications. It’s already widely used by tens of thousands of organizations across the world, including research sites. Reducing site burden is a key focus area across the industry. As noted in Advarra’s 2023 Study Activation Report, sites continue to struggle with the wide array of they technology they are required to use to manage industry trials.  By unifying the sign-on process across site technology, we can take a significant step towards reducing that burden.

Further, our vision is to expand on the unified user experience by creating a dynamic “home page” for site staff. This will allow users access to all relevant Advarra platforms (e.g. OnCore, Clinical Conductor, Advarra eReg, Longboat, and more) while also providing information most relevant to the user. Whether it’s quick links to assigned protocols, analytics driven by those protocols, the user role, or centralized task lists—just to name a few—this approach has the potential to significantly improve the way we enable sites to do groundbreaking research.

With all of our systems in Advarra Cloud and connected through Advarra SSO, it makes it easier to exchange data between systems. It also enables us to better pivot in the future. Whether we are working to expand to new partners, or adjust for industry needs, we will be ready.

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