Medidata Blog

Sept. 23 Media Roundup

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Last week’s news coverage was all over the map – from big pharma companies giving clinical trial participants mHealth wearables to the world’s first 3D printed sternum and rib cage implant. 

Managing Director Kara Dennis, one of our mHealth champions, found the news about big pharma handing out mHealth wearables for trials participants especially significant. “Wearables have the potential to shake up clinical research and impact the life sciences industry. With companies creating cool devices that are easy to wear and with a long battery life, the possibilities are incredible. These devices also capture a huge amount of data and can bring new information into trials, potentially helping us reach new findings. It's an exciting time to be working in our industry.”

You can find the article Kara mentioned below along with all of the other highlights from last week.

mHealth and Tech

  • You know you’ve passed a major milestone in clinical research when big pharma companies start handing out mHealth wearable devices to collect personal data from trial participants! 
  • Did you know there is such a thing as smart jewelry? Bellabeat, a maker of health-tracking smart jewelry, has just restocked its necklace supply and now offers its leaf-design in rose gold and silver.
  • In an exciting breakthrough in digital health and compliance, the FDA accepted a drug application for a “chip in a pill.” The smart pill for mental illness is hoping to embed an ingestible sensor in a tablet to digitally record patient stats.
  • Tiny sensors are being developed to measure ocular pressure in contact lenses without a trip to the doctor’s office. The sensor tech being developed has the potential to monitor a range of medical issues previously handled by medical staff.
  • Last week, Alphabet hired Thomas Insel, the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), for its Life Sciences group. We can’t wait to see how Alphabet’s work will help people suffering from mental illnesses! 
  • A new tech tool is available for women in high risk pregnancies. Airstrip, an integrated fetal monitoring app, has partnered with Apple to transmit information about fetal health to the Apple Watch. 
  • Research was released last week that takes a closer look at the Apple, Android and other brand wearables market to attempt to predict the future of wearables
  • In a first, a patient suffering from cancer has successfully been implanted with a titanium 3D-printed sternum and rib cage designed by an Australian company.

Life Sciences and Pharma

  • In great progress for cancer patients, Curis and Aurigene’s immunotherapy drugs intend to cut the cost of cancer treatments. A long sought after goal in the biotech industry, the companies are packing complex drugs into a pill form.
  • Did you know that Hispanics have higher rates of cancer associated with infectious agents? This was just one of the findings in last week’s American Cancer Society study looking at the connection between heritage and health for Hispanic cancer rates
  • Last week, the NIH backed plans to recruit a million people as a part of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. The study will look at a range of metrics to better understand individuals’ risk for developing disease.
  • Can you imagine hearing every noise in your body? Some people with a rare disease have this condition, however, thanks to UCLA researchers a new, minimally invasive procedure has been discovered to alleviate the disorder.
  • In a recent speech, the J&J CEO highlighted the importance of innovation in pharma. According to Alex Gorsky, innovation and creating new products is key for the success in the industry. 
  • The Rare Genomics Institute has launched 10 separate crowdfunding projects to help patients with rare diseases pinpoint and better understand the causes of their conditions. The funds raised will go to funding exome sequencing. 
  • DARPA had a clinical breakthrough last week, with a new prosthetic program which allowed a paralyzed patient to feel physical sensations through a prosthetic hand connected directly to his brain. 
  • In a Clinical Leader interview, Ruth Ann Subach, director of Clinical Operations at Trevana, talks about her first study that incorporated RBM. Among other things, Subach notes that RBM allows you to set and assess the right goals. 
  • The Washington Post visited the Estopiñans, a family with a son suffering from a rare disease that destroys muscles, and created a photo series that shows what it’s like caring for a four year old with a rare disease.
  • Wait, people may eventually have the power to control evolution?? Genome and synthetic life scientist J. Craig Venter says it’s possible, but we first need to master big data analysis computing power before we begin to understand the information collected.

Company News

  • Last week we were excited to announce that Glen de Vries, president of our company, and our mHealth team were named to the Scrip Awards shortlist! Glen is up for Executive of the Year while the mHealth team (which includes GSK) is in the running for Best Technological Development in Clinical Trials. 

We have some great events on the horizon! From September 30 - October 1, we are presenting a conference with NYAS about the potential of mHealth to transform clinical trials. Plus, to get the latest on mHealth and ePRO, be sure to register for the Medidata Symposium coming up from October 5 - 7.

Jacob Angevine