mHealth technology, the future of clinical trials

Mobile health (mHealth) technology has the potential to revolutionise clinical research. Wearable devices and mobile health solutions can offer pharmaceutical companies access to additional patient data to provide a more comprehensive overview of safety and efficacy.

According to a new report by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, there are now more than 165,000 mobile health apps on the market.

A report released in 2015 by Rock Health revealed that:

● 4 out of 5 internet connected adults use some kind of digital health technology

● 52% of consumers strongly agree that they are responsible for their own health

● 40% of people who made an online search for health information acted on the results of their search in some way

● 92% of users agree that they should be the one controlling their health data

● 80% of users would share their health data with their care provider to get better care [1]

The use of mHealth in clinical trials is also increasing, and according to industry experts, this trend will dominate the market in the coming years. In a recent SCORR Marketing report, 50% of industry experts surveyed say they use mHealth technology in their clinical trials and protocols, and of those 60% consider mHealth very important or critical to their research. [2]

As of August 29th, a search of showed 272 studies that mention the use of mHealth and 186 studies that mention a wearable. [2]

People use their mobile phones every day; it is the first and last thing they see when they wake up in the morning and before they go to bed. This is one of the reasons why the use of smartphones and wearables will continue to increase the use of mHealth in clinical and pharmaceutical research.

The patient data obtained from mHealth devices, whether it is sensor or self-reported data, will transform the way patients are being diagnosed, monitored, and treated.

Additionally, the costs of conducting clinical trials are high, and mHealth technology has the necessary means to optimise the resources used and maintain lower costs. Mobile health data provides researchers with access to real-time data and visualisations that enable them to spot situations that otherwise would have been at best an indicator when reported through traditional clinical channels.

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