Armed with a background as a physician and clinical researcher, Vishaal Mehra, CEO of Artemis Institute for Clinical Research has a “boots on the ground” perspective on the challenges and opportunities in conducting clinical research and also ensuring to prioritize the patient experience during a clinical trial. In addition, he has a curiosity and forward-thinking quality to find innovative approaches to make clinical research more efficient and effectively conducted.
Under his aegis, Artemis has been able to gain new heights and has been able to bridge the gap between quality, investigator-driven clinical research company and the professional attributes of successful businesses both inside and outside of healthcare. According to Vishaal, there are many small research companies that are run by quality clinical research physicians. But these small companies are unable to fulfill at times the invariable timelines and demands from pharmaceutical companies efficiently. On the other hand, the larger networks of clinical research companies have found more efficiencies in business processes, but at times have suffered from the loss of the autonomy and strength of the clinical researcher. This has produced inefficiencies in the drug development process, contributing to both the increasing cost to develop new treatments as well as potentially causing delays in time to market.
“Our ambition at Artemis is to drive forward a more effective and sophisticated way to perform high-quality clinical research with top-notch clinical investigators while delivering best in industry business processes and systems to ensure clinical research becomes more able to discover new and better treatments for all the world,” he adds. “An opportunity exists in the clinical research space for innovative solutions leveraging existing technology for both data capture as well as the various administrative work needed to conduct a clinical trial.”
As per Vishaal, a lesson the pharmaceutical industry is taking for a post-pandemic world is the vital importance to incorporate more “virtual” patient visits, which do not require every study visit to be on site. In the midst of the current COVID 19 crises, Artemis has moved forward in partnering with a company to offer a potent solution for electronic data capture and electronic regulatory filing which will not only improve efficiencies now but also speed the ability to conduct a potentially “virtual” visit with a patient. “We have also fully moved our pre-screen process with our study patients, which was formally done on-site and in-person, to full tele-visits during the pandemic,” he adds. “This has not only improved our company’s efficiency, but our patient and team satisfaction scores have increased because of this—a real win-win.”
Organization wise Vishaal and his team have invested and dove deep into their culture during this pandemic. As a clinical research company, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) designated clinical research as an essential/critical business as the need to produce new and better treatments for diseases certainly cannot stop. “Clinical research will also be the means by which we should have a possible treatment and ultimately a vaccine for SARS-COV-2,” says Vishaal. “Given this, we had robust COVID mitigation policies created and consistently revised to keep up with the changing guidance from the CDC and WHO.”
Integral to the clinical trial process is the study volunteers, with whom Artemis is working with to enhance the patient experience in participating in a clinical trial. This includes a more robust engagement starting at the initial point of contact for a potential volunteer to allow a candidate to feel more comfortable and educated on the clinical trial process, while also delivering a superior customer service. “Once a person makes the decision to participate in a clinical trial, we are working on enhancing the engagement throughout the actual clinical trial to minimize the burden for the study volunteer while improving the quality of data captured for the pharmaceutical sponsor,” adds Vishaal. “We are very excited about our future developments and believe they will truly push the industry as a whole forward.”