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Using Smartphones and the Internet to Connect with Patients

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I first attended the upcoming Drug Information Association (DIA) annual meeting 17 years ago, in 1996. But this year was the first time I had ever attended the Society for Clinical Trials (SCT) annual meeting. However, the more important “first” about last week was that we used Medidata’s new module, the Patient Cloud, to collect information from participants. Mimicking a questionnaire in a clinical trial, the Patient Cloud prompted attendees to complete a short questionnaire on an iPad, using the Patient Cloud app downloaded from the Apple Store. It was exciting to see users, even those who had never used an iPad, easily navigate within the app. And although the questionnaire took several minutes to complete, people were engaged and seemed to enjoy the experience.

Early on the last day of the meeting, I shared my ideas about using smartphones and the Internet to collect data directly from patients and subjects. The audience was enthused by the opportunities that these technologies, along with an exploding number of medical apps and related devices, offer for gathering real-time data from patients.

Most of the attendees at the SCT meeting were from the academia or government fields, and their challenges in conducting trials have a different complexion than those experienced by researchers in biopharmaceutical companies. Specifically, they often have very limited budgets. Attendees were particularly interested to learn about the possibilities to use apps with add-on devices like the iBGStar glucometer, which has 510k clearance in the US and is now available for $30, in clinical trials.

This week, I’m back in the office, getting ready to attend the DIA Annual Meeting for the eighteenth time, and preparing for the session I’ll be chairing on using smartphones and the internet to gather data directly from patients. If you’re there, please join us and share your thoughts on the subject.

* Anne Zielinski will present on this very topic at the DIA 49th Annual Meeting. Don’t miss her session, “Data from Everyone: Using Smartphones and the Internet to Connect with Subjects” on June 25 at 8:00 a.m.

More about Anne.

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