Convincing the patients to volunteer for clinical trials is extremely difficult! It’s even more difficult when the study needs the participants on a massive scale. Every high profile medical colleges and healthcare industry need the volunteers badly to take the industry to advanced level. Apple’s senior vice president of Operations, Jeff Williams said that in outside world, millions of iPhone users are there who would willingly participate in clinical research. His conviction was very clear. Normally patients don’t have that much time and willingness to be present at the research center or come to the research center frequently. But if there is a system which monitors patients’ health and sends the data to appropriate authority, the patients would like to participate willingly. Apple research kit has taken this matter in its hand and opened the gateways for iPhone app development in healthcare research industry.
This article will throw light on topics such as what is Apple ResearchKit, how it works, how it gets integrated into clinical research and the benefits of having mobile clinical research.
What’s the role of Apple Research Kit in Clinical Trials?
The emergence of Apple ResearchKit has caught the eyeballs of Clinical Research Organization (CRO). In the year 2015, Apple released ResearchKit, however, before that, it launched five more apps. One of them was Parkinson’ app! More than 7,600 users downloaded the app and volunteered to participate in trials! Such a huge data in one limited time and limited efforts were available for clinical research! This has opened the ears of the CROs and the world came to know that clinical research is accurately possible without patient actual visiting the health center!
Apple research kit is an open source app development framework for iPhone app development applications in medical industry. It’s an end to end integration medium between healthcare app users and CRO. A module developed using ResearchKit fetches the data from iPhone health apps and third-party apps, so that researchers can have data on a larger scale. Along with the data capturing, the ResearchKit displays the bundle of fitness or health data in a quite readable manner on the dashboard. Sensors attached to iPhone such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS or microphone, everything gets connected to ResearchKit and the ResearchKit can gain the access to everything in terms of step, damage, speech, memory moves, fitness etc.
For example, Asthma health app, once downloaded on patient’s iPhone, it will fetch the crucial data such as blood pressure & glucose levels, heart rate details, asthma inhaler usage, weight etc. without an error.
The Advantage of Mobile Clinical Trials
Larger Scale Volunteers
In less time, you can gather minimum 500 volunteers for a particular study. And the rate of patient denying to be part of the study is quite low as the patient doesn’t have to do anything deliberately. The app does everything for both patient and CRO.
Assigning a task of gathering volunteer patients to a CRO may get resulted in the particular type of patients as CROs also have limited time and resources to find out patients and convenience them.
CRO can fetch all patients from a limited region. Here, patients from across the world can volunteer and participate in the study. And this provides a lot of diversified and enormous information in terms of region, age, climate, gender, stages of the disease and much more in accordance to complete the study very effectively and efficiently.
Here, manpower is reduced significantly. Only human resource involved is patient, no mediators, nothing. Plus, some patients volunteer for more comprehensive trials and that means more accurate research!
A change in patient’s body gets notified and the system gets an intimation of this change immediately, so that next line of set up gets prepared. A faster intimation means chances of patient’s life saved increased a lot!
Clinical trials always demand a good number of patient volunteers. Apple ResearchKit bridges the gap between researchers and patients who would like to volunteer for mobile clinical research. Moreover, it’s an open source framework that leverages the myriad of benefits in iPhone app development, especially for fitness and healthcare research industry.