What is a Diagnostics CRO?


In the field of clinical research, diagnostic trials play a crucial role in advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care. To efficiently manage these trials, sponsors often rely on contract research organizations (CROs) specializing in diagnostics. These diagnostics CROs offer a holistic approach, leveraging internal software, site networks, and technology-driven services to optimize study efficiency and reduce burdens on sponsors, physicians, and site staff.

What is a Diagnostics CRO?

A diagnostics CRO, or diagnostics clinical research organization, is a specialized CRO that focuses on managing diagnostic research studies. Unlike traditional CROs, diagnostics CROs go beyond overseeing day-to-day operations and offer technology-driven services tailored to the unique needs of diagnostic trials. They employ a wide range of capabilities, depending on the study type, to support home-based diagnostics, in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), liquid biopsy diagnostics, oncology diagnostics, and more.

Services Offered by Diagnostics CROs

Diagnostics CROs provide a comprehensive range of services to ensure the successful execution of diagnostic research studies. These services can vary depending on the study type and may include:

  1. Diagnostic Test Administration and Shipping: Diagnostics CROs can manage the administration and shipping of diagnostic tests. This includes coordinating with healthcare facilities to ensure the tests are conducted accurately and efficiently.
  2. Mobile Nursing and Phlebotomy Services: For studies requiring sample collection, diagnostics CROs can dispatch mobile nursing or phlebotomy teams to collect and ship necessary samples. This ensures that the collection process is convenient for patients and minimizes additional burdens on physicians and site staff.
  3. Coordination with Previous Care Providers: Diagnostics CROs can facilitate the acquisition of medical records from previous care providers. This is essential for obtaining a comprehensive understanding of patients' medical history, enabling accurate data analysis and interpretation.
  4. Complex Site Models: Diagnostic studies often require a decentralized approach, involving multiple sites and healthcare facilities. Diagnostics CROs specialize in managing these complex site models, ensuring efficient collaboration and data collection without adding unnecessary burdens to sponsors, patients, and physicians.

Study Models Enabled by Diagnostics CROs

Modern diagnostics CROs enable three commonly applicable study models for diagnostic trials. These models leverage technology and strategic partnerships to optimize study processes and overcome geographical barriers.

1. Studies Driven by Community Clinics

In the community clinic-driven model, diagnostics CROs collaborate with local care facilities, physician offices, test sites, or urgent cares to enroll patients into a study on-site. This model is particularly suitable for diagnostic studies of acute infectious diseases focused on point-of-care testing. By utilizing a full eClinical suite, including eConsent, diagnostics CROs enable patients to enroll on-site via electronic devices such as tablets or mobile devices. Additionally, the administration of diagnostic tests and electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePROs) are overseen by the diagnostics CRO. This model requires a widespread network of community clinics and care facilities, a service that some diagnostics CROs, like Lindus Health, excel in.

2. Virtual Site Studies Powered by Home Health Tools

The virtual site study model is ideal for diagnostic tests that do not require in-person visits but involve sample collections from patients. Diagnostics CROs can deploy mobile nursing and phlebotomy services to collect patient vitals and blood samples. Follow-up telemedicine appointments and electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) collection can be facilitated through virtual platforms. This model is particularly useful in reaching endemic regions where certain diseases occur, enabling patients to participate in studies without the need for physical visits to healthcare facilities.

3. Hybrid Site Studies

Hybrid site studies are applicable to diagnostic trials that require an initial in-person visit but do not necessitate additional in-person follow-ups or sample collections. Diagnostics CROs with test shipment capabilities, telemedicine options, and mobile nursing and phlebotomy capabilities excel in this study model. By eliminating non-essential in-person visits, this model offers a more convenient trial experience for patients and helps overcome geographic barriers.


Diagnostics CROs like Lindus Health play a crucial role in the efficient management of diagnostic research studies. By offering a holistic approach and leveraging technology-driven services, these specialized CROs optimize study efficiency, reduce burdens on sponsors, physicians, and site staff, and provide tailored solutions for different study types. Whether it's community clinic-driven studies, virtual site studies powered by home health tools, or hybrid site studies, diagnostics CROs enable the successful execution of diagnostic trials. Their expertise and capabilities contribute to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient outcomes.

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