State-of-the-Art Small Sample Analytics

State-of-the-Art Small Sample Analytics


PersonAlytics work at RTI aims to evolve within-subject clinical trials (WSCTs) to the same level of rigor that exists for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to enhance researching people's illnesses and their responses to treatments. RCTs have a long history as the standard for testing the safety and efficacy of treatments. There are well-established and robust methods for evaluating efficacy of treatments at the population level. However, applying RCT methods requires large sample sizes, is often expensive, and utilizes methods that are not designed for understanding individual's evolving responses to or outcomes from treatments or the mechanisms within persons that facilitate changes from treatment administration to outcomes. These limitations can impede a number of scenarios, such as conducting a pilot study, when funding is limited, understanding why heterogeneity in outcomes occur, or when the patient population is small such as rare diseases or an outbreak of a new illness. 

The rapidly-evolving WSCT methods are ideal for these situations. WSCTs utilize small sample sizes and leverage data collected from an individual multiple times over a short period of time (typically weeks to months). Innovative methods for rigorous data analysis are then applied, providing results faster than traditional approaches.

Researchers at RTI International, a world-leading non-profit research institute, have developed software tools to support rigorous small sample experiments, early stage clinical trials, and quantified monitoring of patients over time. These robust statistical techniques are being coupled to within-person experimental designs to form methodologies, called idiographic clinical trials (ICTs), that are complementary to RCTs.

To make WSCT and ICT methods more broadly available and easier to employ, RTI's PersonAlytics team is available for consultation and has developed Patient-Centered Clinical Trials© (PaCCT©) software. PaCCT simplifies and automates analyses for clinical researchers and clinicians working with small samples, including N=1, thus addressing critical unmet needs, opening access to untapped markets and enabling value-based healthcare. ICT methods, PaCCT software, and other statistical software have been used in neurology, organ transplantation, intensive care pharmacology, cardiac arrest rehabilitation, speech therapy, psychotherapy, health-related behavior change, occupational stress, and biosensor outcomes.

Read some frequently asked questions about PersonAlytics, read peer reviewed reports of our studies, or learn more about our team.

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