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Karen Burton

Guest post by Karen Burton, Healthcare Solutions Business Development Manager

At the Drug Information Association’s DIA 2013 conference, AstraZeneca’s global category leader for research and development procurement Gregg Jewett noted that only about 35% of patient-reported outcome or clinical-reported outcome data is collected electronically. In a world where BYOD rules and smartphone adoption is booming, this stands out as a surprisingly low percentage.



It is time to capture clinical trial results electronically, and even better through mobile devices. This might include:

  • The use of digital pens and tablets to collect patient information
  • SMS messaging for patient alerts and reminders relevant to the trial being conducted
  • Adopting an electronic device unique to the trial, and specifically designed for the type of data the trial intends to collect

The best solution might be the use of a smartphone app, which can be customized or even rewritten for each trial. With many patients becoming more comfortable with smartphone technology and often carrying their devices nearly 24/7, this represents an enormous opportunity for those who can harness it. Using a smartphone in clinical trials is certainly not without its challenges—providing effective user support, developing identical experiences on iOS and Android systems and simply providing sufficient content on a very small screen, just to name a few—but the advantages are also hard to ignore.

What do you think? Is this idea ripe, and clinical trials should start embracing electronic and mobile technology? Or is this just hype?

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