Advances in digital health devices and data could allow drug developers to carry out more detailed and real time analyses of data from clinical trials. This has the potential to increase the speed at which drugs progress through clinical trials, as well as accelerating decision-making by companies on which programs to pursue. While digital health remains new, with attendant concerns about how the resulting data can be used, there is significant optimism over how a digital revolution could transform drug development.

Against that backdrop, Validic conducted a survey of the BioPharma Dive readership, including 166 biopharma and life sciences industry researchers, executives and technology/software professionals to provide insight into the benefits and challenges of using digital health data and devices in clinical trials.

As technology becomes more accessible and affordable, the role of digital health data is growing in clinical trials. As of September 2015, there were at least 299 clinical trials using wearables, according to Bloomberg. Supporting that increased prevalence, two thirds of survey respondents have already used digital health technologies in clinical trials, and almost all expect to increase their use within the next 5 years.

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Currently, the use of digital health technologies is mostly focused on recruitment, remote patient monitoring and medication adherence, with some use in post-market research and fostering patient communities.

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By automating the collection of data through digital health devices and apps, researchers have access to more accurate and objective data, and quicker. This allows companies to focus clinical trial staff on more productive parts of projects, such as patient support or data analysis. Improving the collection of data streamlines clinical trial processes, ultimately helping to get drugs to market quicker.

This year at SXSW 2017, Validic will be exploring mHealth in clinical trials with GSK, Medidata and THREAD Research. Learn more about the interactive discussion on virtual health research here.

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