Medable vs. Vial | Pros and Cons

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In the rapidly expanding world of digital health, Medable and Vial CRO (Contract Research Organization), two leading technology organizations, are revolutionizing the way clinical research is conducted. Founded in 2016 and 2020 respectively, both companies are making significant strides to offer efficient, digital solutions within the pharmaceutical industry, each offering their own unique suite of tools and products to facilitate patient-centric clinical trials. Although both have missions driving them to steer the clinical research industry away from outdated, paper-based data management systems, each differs in their operation approaches, therapeutic focus, and the specific features of their technology platforms. In this article, we will delve into these differences between Vial and Medable, as well as their similarities, while providing a comprehensive overview to help determine which best fits your clinical research needs.

Overview of Medable (Palo Alto, California)

Founded in 2016, Medable is a leading technology organization that provides an end-to-end, global cloud platform that offers sponsors and CROs a flexible suite of tools that enables more efficient clinical research. The company was established by Dr. Michelle Longmire, who was inspired by her own struggle to reach patients in her research on rare skin diseases. Experiencing first-hand how clinical research has been constrained by obsolete processes and technologies for the past two decades, Dr. Longmire rallied stakeholders, partners, and developers to establish Medable. Medable was created based on a shared vision to dramatically increase the number of effective therapies available to patients each year. Since then, Medable has become a leading technology provider for patient-centric clinical trials, particularly decentralized clinical trials.

A commitment to enhancing the quality, reach, speed, and cost-effectiveness of research is the cornerstone of Medable’s approach. The company also prioritizes the personal experiences of patients and caregivers, working in close collaboration with their network of sites to continuously improve its clinical trial technology platform. The Medable platform is a user-friendly tool that combines eConsent (electronic Consent) and eCOA (electronic clinical outcome assessment) technology to offer an all-in-one integrated solution for participants, sites, and sponsors. Medable’s significant contributions to the field of clinical research is underscored by their several accolades, including ranking in the top 8% of the 2023 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, as well as being recognized as the ‘Best Digital Health Solution’ at the Prix Galien USA Forum.

Overview of Vial CRO (San Francisco, California)

Established in 2020, Vial is a new yet promising player in the global CRO market headquartered in San Francisco, California. With its tech-oriented approach, the company’s mission drives Vial’s growing team of clinical professionals to yield faster, superior, and more cost-effective results for biotech sponsors. This tech-first CRO was also established to promote the use of modern technology platforms within the pharmaceutical industry and bring the world of clinical trials out of the paper stone age. Recognizing this gap of inefficiency plaguing clinical research for decades, Vial’s in-house team of software engineering experts developed a cloud-native, end-to-end system for streamlined processes. The Vial platform contains the capacity for tools such as EDC (electronic data capture), ePRO (electronic patient-reported outcomes), eSource (electronic source), as well as a Site Startup Portal. As a result, the company’s accessible and user-friendly solutions have made it an efficient and cost-effective partner, traits highly sought after by sponsors. Already in use throughout sites across the United States, Vial’s cutting-edge technology platform brings together all trial aspects, from onboarding to data collection, into a unified, modern system.

Among their several notable achievements, Vial successfully raised $67 million in 2022 in a Series B round led by General Catalyst, in addition to gaining support from entities like Byers Capital and BoxGroup. Vial also partnered with NEXT Oncology, a global network of phase I cancer research clinics based in San Antonio, Texas that provide treatments for patients with advanced cancers. Most recently in 2023, Vial entered into a strategic alliance with Mason America Inc., who will supply Vial with hardware for clinical sites, facilitating secure and remote device management for eSource on a significantly larger scale. This further demonstrates Vial’s commitment to replace traditional, inefficient paper-based methods with digital solutions that promote inclusivity, affordability, and innovation.

Medable eCOA+ and Total Consent

The Medable platform is composed of two core components: eCOA+ and Total Consent. eCOA is an innovative tool that uses electronic devices to collect data from trial participants. With over 300 pre-built and validated instruments available, Medable eCOA+ ensures an industry-standardized, consistent method of data collection, which drives real-time decision making. It also supports a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model, which enables patients to use familiar devices for data capture, leading to better compliance and improved clinical trial experience.

Total Consent is another powerful tool in Medable’s platform, functioning as a complete consent management solution. It is an eConsent tool designed to consent trial participants electronically, either in-clinic or remotely, using various web-enabled devices . Total Consent is designed with global compliance in mind, meeting all global regulations including the Food and Drug Administration’s 21 CFR Part 11, ICH E6 (R2), and GDPR. Unlike many other eConsent platforms, Medable provides a robust solution for collection of compliant signatures, whether digital or wet-ink, on-site or remote. The tool also supports over 115 languages, making it deployable worldwide in any country conducting clinical research.

Vial EDC, ePRO, and eSource

Vial’s flagship product is an in-house custom EDC platform that simplifies the process of study startup and build, reduces reliance on vendors, and accommodates flexible data integration. The tool provides a user-friendly interface that has been implemented in over 30 clinical research sites and in use by more than 1500 participants across the US. It also strictly adheres to regulatory guidelines such as the FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and GDPR.

The second component of the Vial suite of technology is Vial ePRO, which boasts a seamless, user-friendly interface easily accessible by mobile or desktop, in addition to built-in data validation, skip logic, and interactive functions for swift and compliant data capture. The Vial ePRO module also facilitates real-time patient monitoring and enhanced reporting, as well as precise, real-time data recording and storage through its interconnected data flow with Vial EDC.

The final component, Vial eSource, replaces paper-based data capture for sites, integrating with Vial EDC to eliminate double data entry, increase data entry quality, and promote centralized remote monitoring. Its interface is driven by standardized data types, data validation, range rules on entry, required fields, and skip logic, among other features. This tool from Vial offers real-time data capture and is constructed on CDISC standards with SDTM-controlled terminology for quality on entry.

Comparing Medable vs. Vial: Which Best Fits Your Needs?

Technology Platform

Both Medable and Vial platforms offer comprehensive solutions for clinical trials, with a focus on streamlining processes, promoting patient engagement, and ensuring regulatory compliance. For example, each offers its own tool to enable seamless collection of patient data during their participation. However, although Medable’s eCOA+ and Vial ePRO are both compliant with industry standards, the latter provides an additional advantage of being integrated into an existing EDC system within the same platform that reduces the need for double data entry from investigative sites. Vial’s eSource, a tool not currently offered by Medable, also creates a user-friendly experience for clinical research coordinators, ensuring greater efficiency with data management at the site level. However, unlike Vial’s suite, Medable’s use of Total Consent means sponsors can further simplify their patient enrolment process by utilizing the included consent management system.

Therapeutic Focus

Another point of difference between Medable and Vial are their areas of therapeutic focus. Medable’s solutions are currently tailored to meet the needs for indications within oncology and vaccine research. In contrast, Vial has dedicated teams of experts and ClinOps (Clinical Operations) professionals for each of their nine specialty CROs: Oncology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Gastroenterology, CNS (Central Nervous System), Cardiology, Medical Device, Rare Disease, and Digital Therapeutics. Therefore, whereas Medable is better suited for a new vaccine clinical trial, sponsors interested in a full-service CRO across various therapeutic areas may find Vial a more convenient fit. As for oncology, the deciding factor would depend on the client’s technological needs for their study and how it can be addressed either by Medable’s or Vial’s digital platform.

Operation Approach

While both Medable and Vial are committed to improving healthcare delivery, their approaches do differ somewhat. Medable comparatively operates with a more patient-centric approach in their products. Their eCOA+ and Total Consent tools are tailored to enhance patient access, experience, and outcomes, reflecting their commitment to putting patients at the heart of their operations. Vial, however, adopts a solid data-driven approach with a fully integrated suite of tools which significantly improve efficiency and quality for sponsors, CROs, and research sites. Although Vial ePRO certainly provides ease of use for trial participants, the crosstalk between the platforms is especially valuable for remote data management.


Both Medable and Vial CRO provide several innovative solutions for conducting clinical trials in today’s digital age. Medable, with its patient-centric approach, focuses on enhancing patient access and experience, particularly excelling in oncology and vaccine research. Vial, on the other hand, offers a robust, data-driven platform, with a comprehensive suite of tools that streamline processes across various therapeutic areas. The choice between Medable and Vial ultimately depends on the specific needs and priorities of clinical trial sponsors, whether it be a patient-centric approach, specific therapeutic focus, or a fully integrated trial management platform.

Vial: The CRO for Biotech, Powered by Technology

Our mission at Vial as a next-generation, tech-first CRO is to empower scientists to discover groundbreaking scientific therapeutics that help people live happier, healthier lives. Contact a Vial representative today to discover how we can make a difference for your next clinical trial!

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