Physical Media and CRO Printing

In the modern digital world it can be easy to assume that printed materials have lost their value. After all digital versions of items can be sent near-instantly without waiting time. Yet just because convenient instant information is available doesn’t mean that printed material doesn’t have its place. In fact with many modern CROs printed material for research trials is more important than ever!

Size and Flexibility

By its very nature digital material is going to be viewed on a computer screen or projection. That can be very useful for some things but means that digital material can’t be catch-all. Large posters, calendars and other material are almost always better with physical printing. They can be displayed in public areas and allow for instant access to useful information for anyone who views them.

This can be particularly useful if you need to display material in such a way that it attracts the attention of visitors. Items like business cards and handouts are also just much easier to give out in a physical form.


The modern world has rapidly become deluged with technology. Indeed most modern people are expected to have at least basic literacy with electronic mediums. However being capable isn’t the same as finding it comfortable.

Many people, especially older generations, find it far easier to read data on printer paper over a digital screen. For clinical trials and other material that requires close attention. Older individuals who many clinical trials are primarily focused towards will appreciate having material they are comfortable with.

Physical vs Digital

Physical media still has a reputation for being more personal and more ‘high quality’ than digital material. Even if you have the exact same material in a digital .pdf vs a printed file many people will find the physical item more of a valued item.

Physical items can be distributed easily, and having a physical copy makes it more likely to be remembered. Digital files, however, can get mixed up and lost between different computers, emails and cloud accounts. No instruction needed for physical material, so it can be given without requiring an explanation of how to use it.

The Offline World and Different Ecosystems.

It’s also important to remember that even the tech literate may not always have access to the internet. Large portions of the world have little or no internet access. Even in heavily connected countries there are many dead zones where having reliable internet is a gamble.

On top of that even if someone is well connected there’s always the possibility for problems. Not everything supposed by Apple is supported by Androids, websites can be hacked or vanish overnight. Material can be lost, with full responsibility on the individual instead of any digital systems.

Digital media can have it's benefits like being easier to read or access, yet physical print has endured in the digital era due to the fact that not everyone wants to read off of an "iPad" or "tablet". It’s important not to count out the ‘old fashioned’ just because we’ve got newer and shinier ways to do things. Remember that sometimes the easiest way to handle material is to have it printed and shipped. It’s best to talk to your printing company to find out what options are best for you and your clients.