For the very first time, drug research participants can go on to give digital consent when it comes to their participation. This will take place in the first study that will happen in all Dutch general practitioner practises partnered by the research from the Maastricht UMC+. Under this study, a lot of drugs pertaining to COVID-19 are being taken into consideration.
The digital consent when it comes to research participation, which is also known as eConsent, has been made possible since May last year because of the new legislation. Although it is now being applied for the first time in a study following the nod from the Medical Ethics Committee of the Maastricht UMC+. The METC happens to be an independent group that keeps track of whether medical scientific research that involves humans meets all the requirements.
It is well to note that traditionally, participants when it comes to medical and scientific research had to give consent via a paper form that had a wet signature. However, in case if it was to be sent through post, the delay would occur. This went on to make the countrywide study very difficult for patients who were acutely ill.
For instance, if someone had to pay a visit to a general practitioner with a serious illness, in this scenario, the patient or the practitioner would not choose to treat the illness that is within the scope of the study since it would be many days before the beginning of the treatment. Through eConsent, the delay is reduced significantly.
This is the scenario with COVID-19 as well. If a patient with symptoms pays a visit to the general practitioner, what is desired is a rapid start of treatment. At the same time, studying the drugs against a new condition is pretty important. Therefore, it made sense to put into effect eConsent well within the PLATFORM-COVID research. In the said case, the patients will have contact with the researchers from Maastricht by way of a video call for up to 24 hours or one day after the general practitioner visit when it comes to an explanation. In this conversation, the patient can go ahead with his consent through a digital system. Post this, the researchers will ensure that the patient goes on to receive the right medication that’s delivered to their home the very next day.
Significantly, from May this year, all the Dutch GPs can go on to enrol patients in PLATFORM-COVID research. This happens to be the first study that will take place across all the GP practises, as it happens to be a part of the consortium, which is indeed a national initiative when it comes to enabling large-scale research across the general practises in the Netherlands.
The fact remains that the technology behind eConsent has to be reliable as well as safe, and overall, it should be suitable for the study. It is well to be noted that the technology of Your Research plays a key role when it comes to this study because it goes on to support the process of the entire research, right from patient interaction through the app.
Notably, this app helps patients with data, e-Consent, appointments via video call, and also specific information.
This enables the research team to easily coordinate the process in a very amicable environment, as well as monitor it precisely.