Clinical trials and clinical research are two distinct, but closely related, aspects of medical research that help drive the advancement of science and medicine
In short, clinical research encompasses all types of scientific studies that investigate human health, whereas clinical trials are a specific type of interventional study within clinical research that evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drugs, medical devices, or procedures.
Clinical research refers to a broad range of scientific investigations that aim to understand human health and disease. It includes basic research, epidemiological studies, observational studies, and interventional studies, and is typically conducted in a laboratory or clinical setting involving the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data from human subjects.
Clinical trials, on the other hand, are a specific type of interventional study in which researchers test new drugs, medical devices, or procedures on human subjects to determine their safety, efficacy, and optimal dosage. Clinical trials are typically conducted in phases, with each phase designed to answer specific research questions and assess the treatment's safety and effectiveness.
In addition to testing the safety and efficacy of medical treatments, clinical research and clinical trials can also help researchers to identify risk factors for diseases, understand the underlying mechanisms of diseases, and develop new diagnostic tools and treatment strategies. Both have made significant contributions to modern medicine and have led to the development of many life-saving treatments and therapies, playing a crucial role in the improvement of health and well-being for people worldwide.
Clinical trials are a crucial part of clinical research, studying the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments, devices, or interventions in human subjects. They involve a carefully controlled and monitored process, which includes enrolling patients who meet specific eligibility criteria, randomization, and blinding to ensure unbiased results.
Clinical trials can be conducted in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, research centers, and community-based organizations, and may be sponsored by the government, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.
Following strict protocols to ensure the safety of participants and the integrity of the data collected, participants are carefully screened and monitored throughout the trial to establish validity and reliability in the results. The entirety of clinical trials typically involves three or more phases, each with specific objectives and requirements.
While clinical trials are a crucial step in the development of new treatments and interventions, it is important to note that many clinical trials are stopped for numerous reasons, including lack of treatment efficacy, and do not make it through all phases. Clinical trials typically go through four phases, each of which serves a specific purpose.