3 Ways a Device Specialist Manages the Technology Lifecycle

Smart phone evolution

Content provided by Vessel’s Director of Sales & Business Development

The success of any digital clinical trial relies heavily on the performance of its validated device. However, performance alone isn’t the only priority for data collection firms validating tablets and smartphones based on specific testing requirements. ePRO and eCOA firms recognize that trial technology often evolves at the speed of light; it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to force older devices to go “End of Life” (EoL) to focus on new models and releases. To effectively identify the proper hardware for a client, data collection firms must consider performance and availability, both now and for future bulk orders.

Many data collection teams often assume that the expected device lifecycle must line up with trial duration. Fortunately, this simply isn’t the case. EoL does not mean end-of-the-road for testing. Partnering with a team that specializes in globally sourcing and procuring clinical trial smartphones and tablets can help you both understand and manage the lifecycle of your selected device for seamless service to your clients.

A clinical trial device distributor offers several impressive advantages when managing the technology lifecycle, including:


1. Keeping You Informed of Updates and Changes

As we’ve already noted, innovation changes rapidly. Staying on top of the latest equipment upgrades, modifications, and launches can prove to be a full-time job. As an authority on your specific trial apparatus, your device distributor makes it a top priority to keep you informed on any developments that may affect equipment utilized within your existing projects.Additionally, manufacturers will often continue production on an EoL product for a designated amount of time to gradually phase it out of the marketplace. Your provider will determine this manufacturing timeline so you can reconcile your sponsors’ upcoming needs with forecasted hardware production.


2. Established Global Network

Data collection and ePRO/eCOA firms often find themselves scrambling (and panicking) with every new manufacturer release, fearing they won’t be able to source the quantities needed to avoid testing gaps. Or, worse yet, they believe they can find a specific product only to realize it’s not the exact model used in other testing applications and may hinder data collection and analytics. A trusted device specialist quickly minimizes this stress; an experienced distributor already has well-established, professional relationships with both manufacturers and vendors on a global scale. Additionally, your vendor will have the expertise needed to eliminate hardware that doesn’t mirror existing trial equipment. At first sign of a potential EoL, your partner will tap into the resources of this vetted worldwide network of providers and supply channels to identify reliable product availability to power both your current and future initiatives.


3. Customized Strategies and Solutions

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of working with a trusted distributor of clinical trial devices is that they deliver customized procurement strategies and solutions based specifically on predicted hardware availability and lifecycle. Your provider will work with your team to understand existing and forecasted pipelines. From there, they will use their expertise to develop a tactical and logistical procurement approach for products that may go EoL before a trial ends.


Identifying these device lifecycle obstacles at the outset of any project will help in the success of your trial from start to finish. For ePRO and eCOA firms that need to bulk order a specific device for data collection, utilizing the skills and connections of a knowledgeable and experienced distributor is the smartest way to go.