The evolution of mobile, digital, and wearable technologies has shifted the way technology is affecting peoples’ everyday lives. Similar to many other industries, this acceleration of integration of digital health has a massive impact on health care.
From smart devices to wearables or telemedicine, technological advancements in healthcare promise fast, personalised and real-time data coming directly from the user or patient. Digital health technologies now provide the resources to advance medicine on all accounts. With all these digital tools at our disposal, we are now able to transform the medical research and aid clinical trials.
With patient recruitment and retention getting harder and harder, the role of digital technologies in healthcare can be vital. There is an urgent need to reach and engage with patients and smart devices allow researchers to remotely collect biometric data, target smaller populations, reduce costs and speed up the data collection process. In clinical research, the use of technology is bringing the studies to the patients and allows flexibility and higher levels of engagement and compliance.
By using smart watches, performance trackers or other health applications, patients and users nowadays have the ability to keep track of their health in real time and have access to their medical information like never before. This new potential in digital health will tailor clinical research design by recruiting the most applicable patient group as derived from the real-time data selected.
Clinical trials are known to have strict regulatory requirements in order to ensure patient safety. These restrictions may sometimes work as barriers to innovation and modernisation of data collection. Therefore, keeping the balance between patient security and innovation is key. Leveraging the technological advancements may free clinical trials from the limits of geography, eliminate patient drop out and provide deeper insights to researchers which as a result will lead to medical advancement.