Clinical research is the medical research involving humans conducted under specific research objectives. There are two kinds, namely, observational research and clinical trials. Under observational research, researchers observe patients in usual settings. They collect data, group patients according to various characteristics, and study changes over a period of time.
On the other hand, clinical trials involve participants in a medical research study for which they will be put under surveillance by the research team. The research team will use all methods and means to track and collect data from the participants. The study partner organizes the data collection, analyzes it, presents the findings to the research team and makes recommendations for future studies.
The major aim of the clinical trial is to determine the effectiveness of a new medical product or treatment in treating a health problem. Once the research team finds that a particular health problem can be effectively treated with the help of a new product, then they will encourage more participants into a clinical trial. However, when this trial is finished, then the trial participant has no longer been a part of the research team and their contact details and data will not be used by the company any longer.
During the clinical trials, data are collected at different stages of the development process. At the first stage, which lasts for about six weeks, data are accumulated and analyzed. The next stage is the control phase, during which the health problem is studied as if there were no treatment. The final stage is the post-phase, during which the product is tried on real people and the effects on them are examined.
There are different methods that are used in clinical trials to collect data. Most trials use double-blind procedures, in which patients are assigned to either receive a treatment or to receive a placebo instead. However, some trials use group methods, in which the patients are asked to receive treatment or to placebo. Some trials use simulated procedures in order to make sure that the data collected is accurate. In addition, the method of how the data is gathered depends on the type of trial: the placebo-controlled trial collects data only from the patients who take the real pills; the drug-controlled trial asks the patients to perform some task as if they are taking a medicine; and the clinical trial collects data from all the patients taking the real drugs or placebos.
Although clinical trials are generally safe, the procedure should be started only after all safety parameters have been met. The procedure may be temporarily stopped if a new, innovative health problem develops. Also, the treatment may not work for all the participants, or the side effects may be severe. Before starting a clinical trial, a patient must read about it and understand its purpose. He or she should also make sure that he or she is physically and psychologically fit for the procedure