Almost a third of Australians live in rural, regional and remote areas, and rural and remote communities have significantly worse health outcomes, and shorter life expectancies.
AGITG intends on enhancing the availability of teletrials across other suitable trials to improve outcomes for patients with gastro‐intestinal cancer.
Teletrials for cancer
Teletrials each have a primary site where the principal investigator is responsible for the conduct, coordination, and supervision of the clinical trial across the primary and satellite sites. This group of sites operating under the teletrial model is called a teletrial cluster. The ‘primary’ and ‘satellite’ sites work in collaboration and are connected by telehealth for some or all aspects of the clinical trial.
The teletrial model utilises telehealth technology to allow clinicians and the research team from a primary site to enrol, consent and treat patients on clinical trials in partnership with another centre or satellite site.
The benefits of teletrials include:
- Increased equity of access for regional and rural patients and reduced travel times.
- Increased opportunities for clinical trial units to meet recruitment target (particularly for rare cancers)
- Collaboration and networking between regional and metropolitan centres
- Increased capability of clinical trial workforce.
Providing local access to clinical trial is especially important for patients in regional and remote locations. Telehealth allows research teams to use telephone or video calls to consult with participants and health professionals remotely. This allows satellite sites to take on aspects of a clinical trial they wouldn’t normally have the capability or capacity for, enabling care closer to home.
Image: Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA); “Australasian Tele-Trial Model, Access to Clinical Trials Closer to Home Using Tele-Health”, September 2016, pg.11