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e-Recruiting: How mobile technology impacts how we recruit and retain subjects for clinical trials

When it comes to retaining subjects already enrolled in trials, mHealth/mClinical offers tremendous opportunities for making it easier for participants to stay engaged throughout the study and potentially provides avenues for collecting higher quality data.

This post is sponsored by DIA.

Finding people interested in participating in clinical trials is one difficulty. But once you find those people, getting them to participate throughout the duration of the trial can be a whole other stumbling block.

This is where mHealth and mClinical come in. These represent the future. So how do you better understand these trends to apply them and reap the rewards?

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

An upcoming panel discussion, mHealth / mClinical and Clinical Trials: A Candid Discussion on Opportunities and Risks, will bring together representatives from industry and regulatory organizations to examine how clinical trials can be enhanced by the use of new digital technology and also the potential risks, including data integrity and subject privacy.

The session, taking place at the DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting, will be chaired by Philip J. Coran, JD, MBA, Senior Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Medidata Solutions Worldwide. Panelists include Craig H. Lipset, Head of Clinical Innovation, Worldwide Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.; Phillip D. Kronstein, Medical Officer, OSI, Office of Compliance, CDER, FDA; and, Julian M. Jenkins, PhD, MSc, Vice President, Project Planning and Management, GlaxoSmithKline.

Interest in the potential applications of mHealth/mClinical for clinical trials is skyrocketing. A quick search of clinicaltrials.gov reveals that there are more than 1,000 listings that refer to mHealth in some way. From a recruitment standpoint, there are many new ways being considered to identify trial participants, including developing ads and social media messages targeted to online communities frequented by potential trial participants.

When it comes to retaining subjects already enrolled in trials, mHealth/mClinical offers tremendous opportunities for making it easier for participants to stay engaged throughout the study and potentially provides avenues for collecting higher quality data. Before mobile communication, subjects were encouraged to track their daily habits, body changes, or other important notations through tedious manual journaling, and the data provided wasn’t always accurate. Mobile devices and apps allow patients to electronically monitor health metrics and quickly capture data points as they happen in real time, providing potentially more accurate data and enhancing investigator oversight.

While the potential for capturing more accurate data is certainly exciting, what about the downfalls of capturing continuous information? In the case of clinical trials and analyzing data, is more actually more? How do we cut out the noise and identify only the information necessary to correctly analyze the outcomes of trials?

These topics and more will be discussed at the upcoming panel, mHealth / mClinical and Clinical Trials: A Candid Discussion on Opportunities and Risks, taking place on June 18 from 10:45-12:15 pm ET at the DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting.

The meeting brings together a global network of life sciences professionals to foster innovation that will lead to the development of safe and effective medical products and therapies. This year’s event offers more than 245 educational offerings over 20 tracks, 450+ exhibiting companies, and more than 125 representatives from global regulatory agencies. The meeting provides participants with a valuable opportunity to network with professionals from around the world, share knowledge, and build new relationships.

Register for DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting and join the conversation on Twitter @DrugInfoAssn using #DIA2015.