In clinical research, searching for the right product or software is both time-consuming and stressful. The search process involves having a clear understanding of your needs and evaluating how each potential provider can meet those needs. This is especially true when looking for a CTMS, because the wrong system can greatly affect the ability for your organization to run a successful business.
Companies in healthcare might try to get you hooked on their software with a free trial; but for a CTMS, this can be a tantalizing offer that could ultimately be misleading. Here are some reasons to stay away from a CTMS free trial:
A CTMS is a complicated tool that involves hours of training and hours of setup time in addition to the time it takes to become comfortable using all of the features in the system. A free trial may get you up and running quickly, but it will not provide with the required time you need to truly learn the features and workflows of the system. What’s more, even if you are able to set up a study, you may not have time to successfully complete a study within the CTMS before the trial runs out. Whether one week or one month, a free trial won’t allow you to truly experience the whole application.
Unnecessary Added Pressure
If you do start a free trial and start to set up your studies and import other data, the amount of time you invest during the trial might be too large to walk away from. If this is the case, then the free trial almost has you committed to a system you may not be 100% comfortable using permanently. Instead, request an extended demonstration of the application or see if the provider has a walkthrough version of the system complete with existing data you could access to help experience the application.
Limited Support and Training
Any worthwhile CTMS application provides new customers with in-depth training and offers high-quality support. A trial may give you a cursory overview of the CTMS you are temporarily using, but you won’t receive anything until you sign an extended contract. Without support, you are left alone attempting to set up and run a trial; as a result, you could end up using the application incorrectly.
Overall, a free trial, while exciting, may not be the best tool to evaluate a CTMS given that there are many important resources that are missing from a free trial version. If you are looking for alternative ways to explore a CTMS you are considering using, ask your contact at the company. More than likely they will be willing to find a solution that meets your needs.