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Calvert Labs launches iPhone “app” to help cut preclinical timelines

By Gareth MacDonald+

25-Jan-2011
Last updated on 25-Jan-2011 at 13:12 GMT

Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Calvert Labs has launched a new iPhone “app” that lets customers track the progress of preclinical research projects with their mobile phones.

The software was developed by the CROs sister firm Calvert Creative to let sponsors check on key preclinical study metrics, ranging from food consumption rates to pathology observations, in “near real time.”

This ability offers a significant reduction in current reporting timelines, which can vary considerably according to Calvert spokesman Jeff Tippett who told Outsourcing-Pharma.com about the new approach.

Normally clients might phone during business hours to learn study results days or weeks after they are known in the lab. With the new system, the study director inputs data as soon as it is known, allowing clients to securely access data from any location.”

He added the term “near real time” is used because preclinical data must be uploaded to a secure section of Calvert’s website before being accessed by the app, which allows study directors to evaluate the findings before hand in the usual way.

Tippett also argued that while the launch and the media attention it has attracted has been a marketing success, the new app offers tangible benefits for preclinical sponsors.

The new private [website] section and the application are tools that only clients of Calvert Labs have to help them move their studies forward in a timely manner.”

Future is mobile

Tippett is also convinced that the smartphone application approach and the instant access benefits it offers is going to have a big impact on both the contract research and pharmaceutical sector as a whole.

We believe that we’re the first CRO to use this type of technology. As early adopters, we are leading in this space. However, it’s not much different than the way other businesses have embraced smartphone technology.

Use of technology will continue to become increasingly important in the future. Neilsen reported recently that by the end of 2011, 1 of 2 phones in the US will be smartphones. That’s a shift. Calvert Labs is preparing to meet that shift.”

Appi to help

His contention is also supported by the number of other drug industry firms that have launched apps. Just this week, for example, Dey Pharma launched an app on the use of EpiPens and Affygility Solutions released mobile software to help companies with environmental, health and safety compliance.

Big Pharma too is also getting in on the act with, earlier this month, Swiss drug major Novartis and French counterpart Sanofi Aventis each launching mobile apps. Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is due to issue draft guidelines on social media and smartphones in the next couple of months.

Even your very own Outsourcing-Pharma.com and its sister website in-Pharmatechnologist.com are now available in a smartphone format to keep you up to date with all the “Must know” news.

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