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While it’s true that both terms include “monitoring,” it’s not true that they’re synonymous. In fact, remote monitoring is actually a subset of risk-based monitoring – a type or form of monitoring, rather than a monitoring strategy, like RBM.
In an RBM strategy, sites that need the most help get the most intense monitoring. Sites that need less help probably don’t need in-person visits at regular intervals throughout the study. Their records can be reviewed from a distance, sometimes independently of site involvement and other times including conference or video calls with site personnel. This is the concept of remote monitoring; it just means monitoring from somewhere other than the physical site.
RBM is a totally different animal. RBM is a strategy for monitoring that involves performing a detailed risk assessment for each and every study, and then building a monitoring plan that mitigates the risks specific to the study. The monitoring plan describes the circumstances under which sites require on-site vs. remote monitoring, as well as identifies the most critical source data points that need to be verified.