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  • Bruce Hellman

uMotif : How patient-centric data capture can revolutionise clinical trials

Bruce Hellman, CEO and Co-Founder of data capture platform uMotif explores how patient-centric data capture can revolutionise clinical trials.

We believe that clinical research is going through its moment of rapid digitisation, fuelled by the ubiquitous smartphone. This is similar to what’s happened in the shopping, banking and travel industries - where digital is a core part of business strategy.

We are seeing that patients who are engaged with their condition and engaged with their research project capture more data. To this end, any technology that puts patients at the centre of this shift will be the most effective.

We believe that enabling patients to use their own smart device (Bring Your Own Device) and its built-in user interfaces, sensors, and connections to other devices will have the biggest impact for clinical data capture. Importantly, this is because this technology will be most effective in offering patients a benefit themselves with the potential to empowering patients to manage their condition.

Benefits to patients, Sponsors and CROS

Firstly, looking from a patient’s perspective, tracking one’s condition over time has been shown to improve adherence to medication, deepen a patient’s understanding of their condition and interestingly improve their perception of quality of their clinical consultations.

The benefits don’t end there, when considering the use of BYOD data-tracking to support clinical research it allows for patient’s to be part of clinical trials with very low friction. Patients are using their own device which they are accustomed to, rather than taking time to travel to a research site or having to learn new technologies – all making research participation simpler for patients. Patients get the benefits of tracking and managing their conditions in return for providing their data for research, and by supporting clinical research, they are helping future patients with similar conditions.

We at uMotif receive reviews from patients and trial participants for our application. Patients enjoy tracking their data and record how they are. The consensus is: ‘This is helpful to you and it is helpful to me’ (a quote from a Parkinson’s patient taking part in the 100 for Parkinson’s study).

A patient-centric approach delivers benefits for sponsors and CROs, with more engaged patients less likely to drop out, and recording more data – all of which can drive faster and more cost-effective research.

Challenges that still need to be overcome

When talking about challenges it’s worth keeping in mind that this approach is already proven to work at scale. Just taking uMotif as an example, we have captured over 65 million data points from over 20,000 participants with our platform across 21 conditions.

The challenges are not from a technology-readiness standpoint. The infrastructure exists and proven platforms are available. The challenge now is to ensure that patient-centric technology is seen as the essential core of a study, not an optional extra. Your favourite high street store no longer thinks in terms of ‘commerce’ and ‘e-commerce’ – both channels are part of their core business. Likewise, the time is now for digital patient experience to be seen as business-as-usual within clinical research.

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