Wearable health trackers are sure to advance our health on a wide scale. Smartphones, tablets and health wearables have become the latest tools used by clinicians. Exciting new innovations in healthcare wearables could alter the entire panorama of clinical trials where monitoring is vital to the patients’ health.
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The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy created a document called Mobilizing mHealth Innovation for Real-World Evidence Generation to lay the groundwork for plan to use mobile healthcare wearables.
Here are a few ways that digital health clinical trials are putting healthcare technology to use, according to Samsung Insights.
Better and Faster Data Collection
Participants in a trial may be asked to record certain data, which is then conveyed to their local contact, and the contact in return enters the information into a centralized database. During this process, errors could occur at each point. This could be prevented by cutting short the distance between the measurement and entry of data. Some trials have used smartphones or tablets, allowing the participants to self-report the data. This method can lower the chances of errors and is cost effective since the researchers do not need to enter the data themselves or hire someone to do it.
Using wearable device that can both collect and upload data could be another option. For example, Samsung Galaxy Watch can track wearer’s sleep patterns, steps, activity level, and heart rate and then securely send that data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and LTE networks. This automatic method of data collection and transfer can eliminate errors.
Using Mobile Devices
One of the problems with clinical trials is patient dropouts. High patient dropout can ruin such trial. Sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) require participants to both fully participate and complete the trial. Patient retention, patient compliance and protocol adherence are vital in any trial. To improve all three, some contract research organizations are providing mobile devices to participants. Participants use these devices to enter diary data as well as to receive alerts about reminders to take medications at certain times of the day. CROs may also opt to send messages to the patients, encouraging them to stay engaged.
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Ensuring Security and Consistency
In any trial security of patient information is a top concern. A security platform like Samsung Knox, which provides defense-grade security built into Samsung smartphones and tablets, can isolate and secure sensitive data in an encrypted container, so trial participants can use their personal applications without risking a data breach.
Devices can be configured using Mobile device management (MDM) tools to meet the needs of any trial.
A faster and more reliable trial results can be achieved with ensuring data accuracy with mobile devices. It will, in the long run, help research teams complete their studies in a more precise, less expensive and more effective manner.