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Triall Product Spotlight: Wearable Integration

We’re excited to introduce the new Triall Product Spotlight series on Medium. In this article series, we walk you through the different software products and features of our end-to-end eClinical platform, focusing on one core product category each week. This week, we zoom in on our wearable integration features.

Wearables within clinical research
Wearables are connecting us like never before. In 2019, the total number of connected wearable devices worldwide was estimated to be 722 million and this figure is expected to increase to more than 1 billion by the end of 2022 (Statista, 2022). In the clinical trial setting, wearables such as mobile devices and smartwatches allow us to collect data in the patient’s home environment (as opposed to a hospital setting), permitting a more authentic assessment of the patient’s experience and disease burden. Wearable data can be collected continuously or in predefined time increments and includes a wide range of health and fitness data, such as physical activity, heart rate, sleep patterns, and much more, with utmost ease for both patient and researcher.

Key features
In this article, we’ll walk you through the wearable integration features and benefits of the Triall platform as well as our current options for blockchain integrations and future vision for identity and access management.

Benefits for clinical research professionals
Wearables are driving a paradigm shift in clinical trial data capture and monitoring. They enable the real-time and continuous collection of health and fitness data, with little or no human intervention. This means clinical research professionals don’t need to spend countless hours on manual data entry and have more time to focus on patient safety and other crucial activities. Moreover, as data is generated digitally from the very beginning, it is also readily available to be accessed and analysed for (remote) monitoring purposes, enabling swift intervention in case of adverse events.

Benefits for clinical trial participants
Wearables enable a more patient-centric approach to clinical research. They allow clinical trial participants to participate in research from the comfort of their own homes, at work, or while carrying out daily tasks, such as getting groceries or working out. This leads to a better patient experience, as participating in a clinical trial requires minimal added effort or interruption in the participant’s daily lives. Moreover, wearables also provide a greater sense of empowerment, by involving clinical trial participants in the tracking of their own signs and symptoms and by allowing the self-reporting of adverse events when these occur. Lastly, the resulting communication channels enable more frequent and informed patient-provider interaction.

iOS and Android devices
The Triall platform can easily be integrated with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, both standard modules of iOS and Android smartphones and smartwatches. To enable this integration, clinical trial participants simply need to give permission to access their HealthKit or Google Fit data inside Triall’s native mobile app.

Bluetooth-enabled devices
Our wearable integration features, however, extend even beyond the most common smartphones and smartwatches. Through the Triall Connect API, clinical trial participants can directly integrate their Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as medical devices (blood pressure monitors, continuous glucose monitors, CPAP, etc.), smart clothing, smart jewellery, hearables, and more.

Platform interoperability
The Triall platform comprises a modular configuration of integrated clinical trial software (eClinical) applications for data capture, document management, planning & oversight, trial supply management, wearable integration, and more. The real-time and continuous data streams generated by wearable devices can therefore directly be stored, maintained, and accessed within a single secure cloud-based environment.

Triall’s Verifiable Proof API
As with all our data capture solutions, the Triall’s Verifiable Proof API allows the timestamping of data coming from platform-connected wearable devices, right at the moment where it is generated. These blockchain timestamps provide verifiable proof that data was present at a certain point in time and has not been altered since. They therefore mitigate the corruption or manipulation of data at a later stage and improve the reliability of clinical science and good clinical practice (more info on verifiable proofs).

Creating verifiable proofs over the course of a study generates an immutable and verifiable audit trail that (1) lives independent of the systems used to collect data and (2) is kept available by a distributed network of computer servers (‘nodes’) who are incentivised to maintain the blockchain network. This means that long after a trial is concluded and applied eClinical systems have been retired, auditors and regulators can still verify the validity of the trial results.

Future vision
The growing adoption of wearable technology fits perfectly within into our vision of building a Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) infrastructure that allows us to decentralise identity and access management (read how we are applying this in informed consent). This SSI infrastructure will provide participants, researchers, and other platform users with greater ownership and control over their data, documents, and processes. In the context of wearables, clinical trial participants would be able to offer and monetise the data generated and stored on their smartphone or smartwatch. This has wild implications for clinical research, considering more and more individuals are collecting health and fitness data that can be valuable for future research purposes. Within the emerging data marketplace, TRL can function as a common currency enabling the automated distribution of (micro)payments across clinical trial sponsor and participants.

About Triall
Triall brings Web3 to medical research by creating a digital ecosystem of blockchain-integrated software solutions that secure and streamline clinical trials. Triall’s solutions make clinical trials tamper-resistant and enable secure and efficient integrations between the many isolated systems and parties involved in clinical trial processes. Triall’s software is co-created with clinical trial professionals to ensure optimal user experience, solving actual industry pain points.

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