Digital Disruption in Pharma
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Apple Releases App to Allow Anyone with an iPhone and Apple Watch to Participate in Stanford Study of Irregular Heart Rhythms

Apple Releases App to Allow Anyone with an iPhone and Apple Watch to Participate in Stanford Study of Irregular Heart Rhythms | Digital Disruption in Pharma | Scoop.it

Since 2009, at least 940 clinical trials using smartphones, watches or other mobile devices have been registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, a database run by the National Institutes of Health. About 290 of these were registered so far this year. Researchers are deploying the technologies to detect epileptic seizures, prevent cardiovascular disease and help U.S. combat veterans adjust to civilian life.

 

Researchers say the digital tools can make participating in medical studies more convenient for healthy volunteers and patients, helping to enroll them more quickly than in many conventional clinical trials. And built-in features such as heart-rate monitors and accelerometers can record data more accurately than study participants relying on recollection or making entries into log books, they say.

 

But researchers also see limitations, including high dropout rates by participants, as well as patient demographics that don’t always represent the broader population—partly because of the high cost of some devices. The Apple Watch costs between $249 and $399.

 

Concerns also have emerged about the privacy of participants’ health data because many of the devices and apps involve third-party vendors, said Charlene Wong, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Duke University School of Medicine who has studied the use of technology in pediatric health care.

 

Apple will face those challenges firsthand with the study of the app’s ability to detect irregular heartbeats—a condition known as atrial fibrillation that often goes unnoticed and can lead to strokes. Anyone 22 and older with an Apple Watch will be able to participate and choose to wirelessly share their heart data with Apple and researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

 

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Digital Disruption in Pharma
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