Guest Column | February 22, 2024

eCOA Solutions: Trends, Benefits, & Buying In 2024

By Aashi Mishra, Research Nester

Healthcare app-GettyImages-1003426728

Fast and flexible, eCOA platforms help collect clean and reliable data that is ready to use in real time and can help accelerate the delivery of new treatments. In the pharmaceutical industry, eCOA solutions are utilized to record patient-reported outcomes including symptoms, quality of living, and the efficacy of therapies. These options supply valuable facts to pharmaceutical providers concerning the potency and protection of their own products. 

Impact On Pharmaceutical Companies And Their Clinical Trials

The growing market for eCOA solutions is set to have a significant impact on pharmaceutical companies. Here are some specific ways in which it will affect their operations and decision-making processes:

  • Improved Data Collection: eCOA solutions enable pharmaceutical firms to efficiently and precisely obtain patient-reported outcomes and additional medical information. This drives higher quality data and more dependable conclusions, which then advise selections spanning drug advancement. Such digital approaches complement traditional methods, enhancing what's understood from research and how results can optimize forthcoming therapies.
  • Enhanced Patient Engagement: eCOA solutions enable pharmaceutical companies to engage patients more effectively in their clinical trials and other research studies. Replacing paper data collection with electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets makes it much easier for patients to participate, provide feedback and stay fully engaged throughout the study, which has been shown to lead to higher patient retention rates and improved study outcomes.
  • Cost Savings: Implementing eCOA solutions can provide significant cost savings for pharmaceutical companies. Traditional paper-based methods of data collection necessitate manual data entry and verification, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. By capturing data electronically, companies can reduce the need for manual data handling and streamline their processes.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pharmaceutical companies struggle to meet regulatory requirements, but eCOA solutions can help. Electronic data capture and management systems provide a secure, unchangeable, and auditable trail of data, which helps pharmas demonstrate compliance with data privacy and integrity rules.

In addition, eCOA solutions can help companies identify areas where they can improve their products or services. For example, if a company discovers that a certain feature or benefit is not resonating with patients, they can adjust their marketing strategy to better communicate the value of that feature or benefit.

Understanding The Benefits Of eCOA

When patient data is entered manually and done so incorrectly, it needs to be researched and corrected by hand, lengthening clinical trial timelines. But what’s more, and on a larger scale, according to Infinite-O Global, dirty data costs between 15% and 25.1% of the revenue of healthcare businesses. Furthermore, almost 97.1% of healthcare leaders believe they have a data readiness challenge. This leads to degraded patient care, ineffective decision-making, and difficulty in achieving interoperability. However, eCOAs can help by:

  • allowing researchers to collect data in real time,
  • improving visualization of results,
  • storing more data in the cloud,
  • maintaining clear audit trails, and
  • fostering a diverse healthcare approach.

The shift from paper outcome assessments to eCOA in clinics can reduce the cost of outpatient significantly. Because of this, some healthcare providers are opting to deploy eCOA through tablets, smartphones, computers, and integrated devices. eCOA offers substantial benefits over paper, including:

  • improved data quality,
  • better patient experience,
  • avoidance of paper’s costs, and
  • supported by regulatory agencies.

Plus, the eCOA platform setup is three times faster than traditional methods while still improving quality. Furthermore, doctors are willing to harness the potential of the IoT in healthcare through the adoption of eCOA. Owing to and supporting increased growth in the healthcare IoT, and specifically eCOA, markets are seeing the following developments:

  • There were almost 10 billion IoT devices active globally in 2021.
  • Various eCOA companies serve over 120 countries and communicate in over 100 languages.
  • Global spending on IoT is anticipated to total nearly $15 trillion between 2019 and 2025.
  • The virtual physician consultations market is anticipated to grow by 8.5% during 2023-2028.

On the back of these reasons, eCOA are finding universal adoption in clinical trials. The versatility of the eCOA tool allows pharmaceutical companies to easily collect patient data and various other clinical trial information. The data collection processes become streamlined with improved quality. What’s more, with the help of eCOA, a patient can take a photo of any visual ailment, for instance, the size of a bump, a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, reactogenicity of any vaccine. Moreover, The eCOA multimedia allows the clinician to evaluate the condition remotely on home devices. Other than this, various pharmacies are enabling eCOA to obtain directly from patients and real-time clinical data. This in turn improves the diagnosis and treatment of the patient.

Impact On Decision Making

eCOA solutions can provide pharmaceutical companies with valuable insights into patient behavior and preferences, which can inform their decision making. For example, if a company discovers that a certain patient population prefers a certain dosage form or route of administration, they can adjust their product offerings accordingly to better meet the needs of that population.

Impact On Buying Practices

A bevy of eCOA solutions can also impact pharmaceutical companies' buying practices. Given the growing marketplace, if a company discovers that a certain supplier is consistently providing high-quality products, they may choose to work exclusively with that supplier. Similarly, if a company discovers that a certain product is consistently outperforming its competitors, they may choose to purchase more of that product in the future. Their continue to be numerous options to explore.

Choosing The Right eCOA Solution

Pharmas should consider the following when selecting an eCOA solution:

Data Security: Pharmaceutical companies must make data security the top priority when selecting an eCOA solution. Look for solutions that utilize advanced encryption techniques, ensure secure storage of sensitive information, and are fully compliant with all applicable data privacy regulations. Choosing a solution from a reputable provider with a proven track record of protecting patient data is of utmost importance.

User Experience: Ensuring a positive user experience is crucial for successful adoption of an eCOA solution. Consider options that offer an intuitive interface that is simple to navigate, allowing participants of all experience levels and technical abilities to easily submit responses from any device. Solutions should also provide customizable features to tailor the experience based on individual study needs and protocols.

Patient Engagement: Select a solution demonstrated to actively engage patients throughout the entire data collection process to help maximize compliance. Look for features such as automated reminders sent via multiple modalities, real-time notifications to prompt completion of pending forms, and incorporation of interactive surveys and activities designed to maintain participant interest over extended study periods.

Integration Capabilities: When evaluating eCOA solution, vendors consider the integration capabilities of their solutions to companies’ existing systems and study workflows. The best solutions will seamlessly integrate with electronic health records (EHRs) and other data management platforms.

Scalability: Choose an eCOA solution that can scale to meet the needs of entire organization. Look for a solution that can handle large volumes of data, support many studies at once, and grow with enterprise.

Support and Training: Make sure that any eCOA solution provider offers robust support and user training services. The best solutions vendors will offer comprehensive onboarding assistance, around-the-clock technical support, and plenty of user training resources.

Global eCOA Solution Market Outlook 

The eCOA solution market is anticipated to capture $15.1 billion by the year 2036, growing at a CAGR of almost 15.1% during the forecast period. In 2023, the eCOA market garnered almost $1 billion alone. The growth drivers that are boosting the eCOA market include:

  • Rising burden on pharmaceutical manufacturers. Almost 30% of the world’s data volume is generated by the healthcare industry. To streamline and judiciously utilize healthcare data, the eCOA market is anticipated to grow to meet those needs.
  • Rising prevalence of chronic diseases. Globally, nearly one in three adults suffers from multiple chronic conditions. Additionally, patients with various diseases are increasingly relying on telemedicine, fueling eCOA market growth. As the data reveals, almost 80.1% of the people have accessed healthcare by using telemedicine.

North American eCOA Market Regional Analysis

The North American eCOA market is anticipated to gather the highest share — about 30% — of the global market during the forecast period. The region has remarkable healthcare facilities and considerable government investments. For example, in 2022 alone, the North American eCOA market garnered $194 billion and is expected to reach $676 billion by 2030. Furthermore, in the U.S., 56.1% of physicians are engaged in discussions about mHealth with their patients. Also, almost 17.1% of the doctors in the U.S. are utilizing telemedicine.

The eCOA solution market can be sub-segmented as web-based, on-premises-based, or cloud platform-based. The web-based eCOA segment is expected to earn the largest share of about 51% by 2036. In addition, eCOA solutions can be sub-segmented based on end users, such as pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, CROs, medical device manufacturers, consultancies, hospitals, and academia. Out of these, CROs are projected to hold an almost 31% share of the global eCOA solution market. Some of the primary companies providing eCOA solutions include Assistek, Oracle, Castor, Clario, Signant Health, Mednet, Veeva Systems, WCB Clinical, Cloudbyz, and Clin Capture. Various pharmacies are getting flexible platforms to revamp their efficiency by delivering real-time data through eCOA.


The global eCOA market is anticipated to see notable growth, with various market players harnessing profit and maintaining their customer base. Although it is quite important to understand market constraints, regional analysis, segmentation, etc., these factors help in the judicious allocation of budgets and the ability to maximize the budding opportunity. As the demand for eCOA solutions continues to rise, pharmaceutical companies should embrace this technology and explore its potential to transform the way clinical trials are conducted.

About The Author:

Aashi Mishra is an experienced research writer, strategist, and marketer with Research Nester who loves to distill complex industrial terminologies of market space into simpler terms.