The mobile and “apps” market has been growing rapidly and steadily for the past few years. With the introduction of the iPad in 2010, the tablet market is gaining attention as product value soars in many industries. Health and pharmaceuticals is one of those industries openly accepting the mobile and tablet takeover as these devices and their “apps” bring added benefit and new innovative solutions. In a follow up to last week’s post, Arithmos discusses the market and how devices are being integrated.
A snapshot of the overall market emphasizes the importance of embracing these technologies. In 2011, there were over 491 million smartphones sold worldwide. To clarify, a smartphone combines the capabilities of a mobile phone with PDA (personal digital assistant). Many of these smartphones include “apps”. The Apple store alone has over 500,000 “apps” which can be easily created by consumers. The tablet market has the fastest market growth rate, with the Apple iPad owning the majority of the market share. Apple recently reported that over 65% of Fortune 100 companies are using or testing the iPad for use within the company.
The pharmaceutical industry has been embracing these markets for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is patient compliance. Patients want the “WOW Factor ” – the digital and personalized experience.
Devices such as tablets and smartphones can cut clinical trial costs as well. Setting up desktops or laptops, or even printing paper, can be more expensive than simply downloading information on a device. Using these devices also allows patients to just send information via click or an IM/SMS. With the installation of “apps”, medical information can be downloaded instantly by doctors or Investigators.
Investment by the pharma industry in wireless devices has grown 78% in the past year. Reference “apps” like WebMD are most popular, and “apps” are used for compliance, consent and even diagnosis.
What are some of the most noteworthy mobiles, tablets and “apps” in use today in clinical trials?
The Blackberry (BB) allows users to be identified via PIN which helps confirm patient compliance. Data can be transmitted via SMS, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or Bluetooth technology. The BB allows for instant data transmission and instant communication between patient and Investigator. For clinical trials in diabetes (one of the fastest growing therapeutic areas in pharma), a glucometer can be connected via Bluetooth to a BB Curve model to transmit data.
The iPad and iPhone are garnering attention in the patient compliance area. The touch screens and “apps” make these Apple devices popular and easy to use. Patients are identified via username and password and Bluetooth technology is enabled.
See our last blog post: Clinical Trials & Business Intelligence: iPad and iPhone Revolution
Arithmos has extensive experience implementing such devices into the clinical trial process for collecting patient data. These ePRO devices increase patient compliance and can be integrated with an EDC system as well. Arithmos has experience using Blackberry and the iPad for questionnaires and data collection.