ResearchKit is Apple’s open source software framework intended to help medical researchers and developers create apps via the collection of data through patients’ iPhones, and contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles is contributing to the framework by adding a number of technical coding enhancements.
While spokesman Phil Bridges said “the effect may not be immediately obvious,” he told Outsourcing-Pharma it will provide extensions that support additional capabilities for healthcare app developers, including Quintiles itself.
Innovating and Integrating
“Quintiles plans to use these enhancements to develop patient engagement tools in its ResearchKit-based apps,” he said. “It’s all about innovating and integrating: Innovating in terms of ways that we can connect to consumers and patients, and integrating the data from those individuals back into research studies.”
Furthermore, the development of such apps helps is “also about removing friction and allowing a seamless experience for the patient, the physician and caregiver, and then ultimately the biopharma company that’s developing the product,” he continued, adding the Apple contribution falls into Quintiles’ ambitions in the healthcare software sector.
“We want to be the leader when it comes to collaboration with technology giants such as Apple.
“The healthcare ecosystem is becoming ever more integrated, so for Quintiles it’s important that we have the ability to extend into the patient community, and that we can provide a frictionless experience for patients in our research programs, and augmenting the different systems that are employed today.”
The firm is already in active discussions with a number of sponsors regarding ResearchKit app development, but Bridges could not divulge more information at this time.
“Some of the more obvious implementations might come in real-world, evidence-based research, “ he said, “but we also believe ResearchKit-based apps will be useful in phase I-IV research as well.”
Quintiles’ collaboration follows that of Medidata, which earlier this year built an open-source connector linking Apple’s ResearchKit to its own cloud-based system allowing CROs and biopharma firms to map generated data.
ResearchKit has been cited as one of the new technology platforms used to help speed up drug development and clinical research, and industry group ACRO spoke earlier this year about the need to bring Clinicaltrials.gov, the online database of trials up-to-date to harness the power of such data tools and apps.
“The world of business is a converging world of software and services, products,” Bridges said. “The whole world in the last few years has changed with regard to the number of people that are now effectively connected.”