Researchers: Using remote sensors, wearables would make clinical trials more patient-centric

One major focus of researchers who design clinical trials is how to make them more patient-focused. Many of the solutions being investigated to help meet that end involve innovations in mobile health and wearables, as they free up patients to participate in studies in their own environments, rather than being restricted to hospitals or other clinical settings.

Pursing innovations in mHealth, such as more accurate and reliable results from remote sensors and other devices, would also enable providers to shift their focus to preventive care and improve efficiency, according to an article published in Applied Clinical Trials.

"The remote monitoring of patients using a suite of wearables and sensors has significant application in creating more patient-centric clinical trials, that the need for a patient to travel long distances to attend site visits can be replaced by a "virtual site visit" in the patient's home and that clinically relevant data that track both data quality and the safety and efficacy of drugs can be collected and transmitted remotely," the authors wrote.

The authors also suggest wearable technology in clinical trials provides an opportunity for disruptive innovations in drug development due to the amount and quality of physiological data wearables generate. They also cite advances in data de-identification and re-integration that enable researchers who conduct trials to do so in a more transparent and objective fashion.

"We think there is huge potential in this approach to transform the way we monitor clinical trials, improving the quality of patient data, reducing patient burden, increasing patient engagement and redesigning the thinking around how we conduct clinical trials," they wrote.

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