By T S Rangarajan and Anand Vijaykumar, Tata Consultancy Services
Pharmaceutical companies spend more than $800M in developing a drug. Clinical trials are one of the most important steps in drug development. These clinical trials are outsourced to Contract Research Organizations (CROs). With cost pressures hitting them, it becomes essential for companies to relook at their existing processes and identify areas where improvements are possible. The clinical trial process is as of now plagued with ineffi ciencies. These ineffi ciencies can be removed using Radio Frequency Identifi cation (RFID). RFID can bring more visibility into the process and in fact improve the quality of information obtained during these trials. But, RFID by itself provides only lots of data. It requires an intelligent system which can be used to interpret the data which RFID throws up and improve the effi ciencies of the processes in place. This system will consist of an Intelligent Edge Layer (IEL) which will exist between the RFID infrastructure and the existing Clinical Trial Management (CTM) systems and handle the fl ow of data. Hence, RFID along with IEL and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) would provide far reaching benefi ts to the CRO industry.