Internet of Things (IoT) is the catchall term covering devices that collect and exchange data with other devices over the internet. And, according to experts involved in their rollout in clinical trials, the sector is at a tipping point.
In the past three to four years, the sector has experimented with new forms of data capture, says Medidata digital biomarkers solution expert Ben Schlatka. But now, it is at a phase of frequent and high adoption with structured research questions, Schlatka notes.
In clinical trials, the most common IoT devices are electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments (eCOA) or Patient Report Assessments (ePRO), sensors, and wearable devices. The areas with the most clinical trial IoT uptake are cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system disorders, chronic diseases, dermatology, diabetes, and pain management, notes Gabriele Brambilla, CEO of healthcare technology company Alira Health.
While IoT integration in trials is being accelerated, several issues remain. With devices collecting an unprecedented volume of data, are sponsors or contract research organisations (CROs) equipped to use that data to bolster a trial’s success prospects? Despite eCOA and ePROs being integrated into clinical trials for years, decentralisation rollout issues exist. As for sensors and wearable devices, with many options available in the market, how should sponsors choose the right approach?
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