Published on August 11, 2021

After airing the webinar Achieving Health Equity in Clinical Research during InformaConnect’s DCT Digital Week, Castor caught up with presenter Sam Eells, Co-founder and Chief Design Officer at Lightship, to discuss the infrastructure needs for providing the best patient experience and ensuring data integrity in decentralized clinical trials.

Lightship is a virtual-first provider focused on combining operational excellence and the best virtual tools in clinical trials. The company was set up by industry experts including Eells, who has 13 years of experience running clinical trials at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. Some of this research was conducted via decentralized methods, to help minimize familial transmission. This involved home visits conducted by traveling research coordinators. Through this work, Eells gained a great deal of experience in decentralized research and identified what was needed to enhance the patient experience and deliver more successful clinical trials.

Eells pointed out that Castor’s suite of eClinical solutions enables researchers to address some common issues in clinical trials. They provide a seamless experience for physicians, nurses, and study coordinators. Castor’s proven, globally compliant Clinical Data Management System (CDMS) for better trials enhances the speed and simplicity of building clinical studies, data integration, and real-time reporting.

Using decentralized and hybrid clinical trial solutions, study coordinators can save data instantly and accurately in the study database, without any further processing. Considering a patient’s needs and providing solutions, like mobile hotspots and preconfigured devices, Eells says, is fundamental for Lightship. 

Eells has long seen the benefits of working with patients in their homes in what is a very natural and effective way of conducting research. Decentralized clinical trials can substantially increase data quality by capturing a more representative view of the patient’s day-to-day experience in an environment where they are relaxed. It can also make data capture more predictable because the patient doesn’t have the challenge of scheduling site visits around other obligations. 

The ideal decentralized trial places a premium on patient experience, as this directly contributes to retention and likelihood of participation in future studies. Eells emphasizes the vital importance of building trust between patients and researchers. Lightship has designed additional training and simulations for its care team to undertake before each clinical trial, as part of making studies safer, more comfortable, and more convenient for the patient.  

At Lightship, Eells comments: “It’s really rewarding to be at the intersection of bringing life-enhancing and life-saving innovations to market. We have seen patients and healthcare companies embracing virtual models and today the vast majority of patients are now interested in telehealth. 

“We’re focused on improving access to clinical trials for a more diverse range of patients globally, and enhancing the process for clinicians as well as patients, to make every clinical trial better than the last.”

Wondering how to get started with your decentralized trial? Visit, and check out Castor’s suite of tools for decentralized and hybrid trials.

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