During last week’s webinar with BBK President Matt Kibby and Roche’s Operational Intelligence Leader, Lewis Millen, on “Harnessing the Power of mHealth for New, Better Data and Improved Patient Engagement,” we had the opportunity to cover a variety of topics and challenges related to mHealth adoption and deployment. And we were pleased to have so many representatives from all areas of clinical R&D, including patients, join us. Lewis was able to provide such valuable insights and if you joined us, you know that first hand.
We’re including Lewis’ insights on the ways in which mHealth has impacted clinical trials and his thoughts on patient perception below for your reference and you can view the full webinar here.
And because we didn’t have time to get to all the audience questions, we’ll be posting them along with BBK President Matt Kibby’s responses here on the blog over the next week or so.
Please check back soon.
Q: Can you share an experience where mHealth technologies have impacted clinical trials, and what are some of your thoughts on the perception of this technology on the patient side.
LM: I come from an interventional trial perspective in my day to day work… and I see mobile health really pushing the boundaries in medicine and drug research. We’ve seen studies like the mPower Mobile Parkinson’s Disease Study, the Healthy Heart Study, pretty much being run entirely on mobile devices through apps.
I think it’s thrown down the challenge to those of us who work in the interventional clinical trial space, about how we bridge that gap, how we take these methodologies that have been used in non-interventional studies and use them in interventional trials. There’s been a large degree of success in using that approach. It’s made me wonder about our approach to research, how it might change with these tools and technologies over time.
In terms of mHealth’s impact on clinical trials, from my perspective, I think we’ve yet to have real impact measures; it’s something that we’re working on and we’re looking to others for help with it. It is not easy in this domain to demonstrate traditional return on investment, and I think that is an important thing to say. We do know, of course, that mHealth is important in terms of educating patients, their families and their caregivers about their conditions, about clinical trials in general, and about specific studies. It has an important role to play with engagement, and we have reason to believe that it supports patient retention in studies. Of course, in some areas, it supports improved data and more efficient data collection is being seen as well.
In general, patients embrace this kind of technology. Patients are people like everybody at this webinar. Most of us, if not all of us, use mobile technology in our daily lives, so it’s logical that it should be included in studies. However, patients are flooded with options in this area, and from a sponsor’s perspective, it’s incumbent upon us to ask ourselves “What is the problem we’re trying to solve? When does it make sense to use a particular app, without just using it for the sake of it?” Most importantly, we have to make it simple for the patient, their family and their caregivers.