Vial: Delivering clinical trials 3x faster with Superblocks

The Superblocks Team

Multiple authors

November 13, 2023

4 min read


Vial is a global, full-service contract research organization (CRO) delivering faster, more efficient ‘clinical trials’ — carefully designed research studies that evaluate the safety and efficacy of medical treatments, drugs, and medical devices. For biotech sponsors, conducting these studies in-house is often restricted by limited resources (e.g., specialized skills, equipment, financial capacity), so companies turn to CROs that can leverage economies of expertise and scale to enable research at a much lower cost and faster speed. Through its end-to-end technology platform, eClinical software, and team of expert Clinical Operations (ClinOps) and technology leaders, Vial drives even more efficiencies for innovative biotech companies, empowering scientists to discover groundbreaking scientific therapeutics.  

Challenge: Optimizing operational efficiency without compromising engineering resources

To deliver these time savings to their customers (small and medium-sized biotechs) across an increasing number of trials, Vial must keep trial management and execution top of mind. Each trial has unique requirements that must be fulfilled as part of the “clinical database build”’, an industry term for the trial preparation process. Traditionally, this process took 15+ weeks to complete and consumed the capacity of 1 to 3 full-time engineers working for multiple sprints writing bespoke code. In addition to the initial trial setup, the ClinOps team faced engineering bottlenecks with ongoing trial maintenance and management tasks. As such, it was vital for Vial to take every opportunity to streamline the clinical database build and optimize time spent across multiple trials.

Solution: Superblocks Applications to facilitate running clinical trials at scale 

Before Superblocks, building internal tools to solve these challenges was deprioritized in favor of building the core product to help sites and patients. But Superblocks has flipped the narrative on internal tools at Vial and allowed them to do both. With Superblocks, Vial was able to quickly build applications that enable Vial's Clinical Operations and Data Management teams to create and manage clinical databases. These applications cut this 15+ week process down to less than 5 weeks, creating a 3x enhancement in process efficiency.


Vial Admin Platform

The Vial Admin Platform is a Superblocks Application that accelerates clinical trial setup and time to value for Vial’s clients. Previously, creating a new trial, inviting users, and assigning clinics required substantial manual effort – either by making requests to internal APIs with Postman or writing SQL queries directly to a database. This also limited non-ClinOps roles like Product Managers and Designers from accessing and updating data on their own, since clinical database builds and management was bottlenecked by code-driven tasks owned by engineers. With Superblocks, all stakeholders can now easily make changes to trials with an intuitive UI that connects to Vial’s APIs and Postgres database. Furthermore, Vial’s engineers were able to build and deploy the Vial Admin Platform to internal orgs in just hours. Building an application like this from scratch would normally require weeks of engineering time.

Why Superblocks 

1. Ease of use and accessibility

Drag and drop UI components combined with a backend API builder allowed engineers to translate a product requirements doc into a Superblocks Application in just hours, and similarly shorten subsequent iterations/feedback loops. Not only has this been a huge unlock for the engineering team, but the Superblocks ecosystem has also enabled other teams like product and design to build their own apps, and overall has democratized the development of internal tools within Vial.

2. Rapid feature development 

Vial has taken advantage of the rapid introduction of new features and enhancements on the Superblocks platform. These include the integration of OpenAI for medical writing assessment, the use of Custom Components to enhance UX with in-house designs, and integration with OpenAPI specifications to streamline development with internal APIs.

3. Collaborative Superblocks team

Vial leveraged the Superblocks solutions engineering team's expertise both in real time and asynchronously to get the best feedback and guidance on maximizing the Superblocks platform.



With Superblocks, Vial has been able to create an efficient and scalable process around building business critical internal tooling that doesn’t involve sacrificing weeks of engineering resources. More importantly, the deployed applications allow their ClinOps team to self-serve and deliver clinical trials 3x faster.

Overall, Vial's goal is to make sure technology readiness and usability is never a rate limiter in clinical trial success. Superblocks enables this vision, allowing Vial to create custom internal tools to meet the diverse needs of any trial, through any phase, and in any therapeutic area. 

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Luke Bogus
Head of Product, Vial

"Traditionally, setting up per-study instances of trials can take CROs 15+ weeks. By combining our in-house technology with internal tooling powered by Superblocks, we’re able to bring that down to less than 5 weeks."

Luke Bogus
Head of Product, Vial

"Superblocks’ focus on customer and user success is unparalleled in the industry. From rapid support response rates to shipping new features literally monthly that positively change the way we use Superblocks —Superblocks is setting the standard for the next generation of low-code platforms."

The Superblocks Team

Multiple authors

Dec 13, 2023