Health Industry Insights, an IDC Company, recently published a new forecast of the domestic market for electronic data capture (EDC) software. The report titled, “U.S. Electronic Data capture 2006-2011, Spending Forecast and Analysis,” predicts that spending on EDC solutions will total more than $3.1 billion by 2011. This represents an average annual market growth rate of about 15% between now and then.

It is interesting to consider some of the primary factors that are likely driving this trend:

  1. New products to fuel growth. As pharmaceutical companies’ blockbuster drugs run off-patent there is a dearth of candidates waiting to replace them. As a result, many of the large pharma companies will be forced to put their sizeable cash stores to work in the form of increased R&D expenditures and/or acquisitions of smaller firms. Either way, this funding should result in more clinical research.
  2. EDC is finally a “proven” technology. While once fairly commonplace, stories of failed EDC implementations seem to have become increasingly rare. It seems that EDC is finally delivering upon its promise to enhance the productivity and ROI of clinical studies. With EDC no longer considered a bleeding-edge approach to clinical trials, the level of EDC adoption is starting to look more like an S-curve. According to IDC, “approximately half nearly half of all new Phase I-III studies are now initiated using EDC.”
  3. The globalization of clinical trials. As clinical trial sponsors are driven to control costs and speed discovery, they are partnering with CROs on an increasingly larger portion of their studies. As a result, the CRO industry has been exploding. As competition in the industry increases, these organizations increasingly look towards EDC systems to help make themselves more efficient and deliver higher quality data to the sponsor within a shorter timeframe.

There are invariably other factors driving the growth of EDC, such as the expansion of adaptive trials and increased maturity and expectance of independent standards such as those promulgated by CDISC (Clinical Data Interchange Data Standards Consortium). The intersection of these factors is creating an exciting time in the eclinical industry and 2008 promises to be a dynamic year for new developments and market changes.