While there are numerous clinical trial management platforms on the market, only a small portion allow study leaders to configure things to suit their specific needs. With the majority of study sponsors still preferring to build, deploy, and manage their own studies versus entrusting all of these functions to a contract research organization (CRO) or network of eClinical solutions providers, this desire to not hand over control of their research entirely is understandable and commendable. In terms of study management platform development, however, it can result in the need for tedious, time-consuming, and costly coding in order to get everything ready to go.
This is where low-code, or no-code development platforms come in.
Low-Code/No-Code – What Does it Mean?
Low-code or no-code refers to development platforms that seek to simplify the user interface so users can easily build applications and/or tailor existing applications to fulfill specific requirements. These requirements can involve making sure particular features are included or ensure the application works well given unique user workflows. As may be obvious, low-code solutions do require the user(s) to perform some coding, though much less than with typical application development and often with useful built-in prompts and guides to simplify the limited coding needs. Low-code platforms can be used by more tech-savvy end-users, but they primarily target application developers. This greatly speeds up the development process as designers don’t need to build everything from scratch. Rather, they can pick and choose optional, pre-built functions, significantly reducing time, labor, and costs. According to a Gartner report, 65% of all application development will be done using low-code platforms by 2024.
No-code solutions are best fits for day-to-day, mostly non-technical business users. As the name suggests, they remove all need for coding or programming skills, offering easy-to-use design/build tools that allow users to quickly build and use applications. And as most of us likely find ourselves in the category of non-technical users with little or no coding experience, no-code options are extremely attractive, particularly for those seeking to deploy user-friendly applications with more simple and focused functionality that can be used across numerous device types, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
Benefits to Sponsors of Low-Code/No-Code Platforms
In terms of clinical trial management, low-code or no-code development platforms can accelerate certain aspects of study design, helping get trials up and running more quickly without the need for users to spend hours manipulating the code.
For example, an effective solution provides sponsors with an intuitive, visual interface similar to other common software applications (think Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). This approach allows study leaders to drag and drop the application components they want while avoiding components and features that add more cost than value. Whether employing a low-code or no-code platform, each will allow additional features to be added later if and when the need arises. For sponsors conducting multiple trials, the ability to quickly create customized user experiences based on a study’s particular needs (protocol design, eligibility criteria, regulatory requirements, etc.) can save a lot of time and money and help get safe, effective new therapies to market faster.
By selecting only the components they need and activating them in an easy-to-use platform interface, sponsors can simplify onboarding. This, along with an intuitive and easy-to-learn user interface (UI), allows team members to spend less time on training and more time focusing on higher value tasks like patient engagement.
A key benefit for using low-code or no-code development solutions is they allow the sponsor to maintain control and autonomy over their workflows.
Enhanced Operational Processes
Low-code/no-code platforms make it easy to test components and features. Useful configurations and assets can be noted and saved to be repeated in subsequent studies. Additionally, features that don’t work as well can be removed easily and quickly. By building configurations that work well for them, sponsors don’t have to worry about investing in a platform package full of pricey features they seldom – or never – use. This makes it less risky to experiment with new features or functions that could lead to better study performance.
Benefits to Sponsors of Low-Code/No-Code Platforms
For sponsors looking for a way to customize their study management software applications without adding significant cost, low-code or no-code development platforms are powerful options. Whether you are interested in building user-friendly applications quickly and without the need for complex programming skills, or you wish to dramatically reduce development cycle time, low-code/no-code platforms can help you preserve autonomy over your study builds while helping to reach your first-patient-in (FPI) milestones faster.
For more information on leveraging low-code/no-code development tools for your studies, or to arrange a demo of TrialKit, connect with us today.