CROs not ready for wearable tech? Report examines use in clinical trials

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/alexey_boldin)
(Image: iStock/alexey_boldin)

Related tags: Contract research organization

Wearable technology has been making inroads in the clinical trial industry, however several challenges and concerns surrounding lack of experience still stand in the way of increased adoption.

We know wearable technology is being used in clinical trials, but until now, the degree to which was not known​,” Jon Meyer, MSc, MBA, founder and principal at Life Science Strategy Group, LLC, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

But what’s more interesting is that a significant portion of clinical trial decision makers that are not incorporating wearable technology in their clinical trials do not feel the need to do so​,” said Meyer.

(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)
(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)

According to the report, 24% of respondents are currently using wearable technology in clinical trials, with an additional 44% expecting to use the technology within the next five years.

The report mirror sentiments of a previous report by Validic, which found 97% plan to use digital health technologies in clinical trials over the next five years – wearables representing only a slice of the digital health market, which includes other devices, sensors, and apps.

(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)
(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)

However, as both reports explained, validation and cost are the two biggest challenges that limit companies from adopting the technology. Per the Life Science Strategy Group report, it is also this challenge that impedes companies that currently use wearable technology from incorporating it in more of their clinical trials.

To address​ these concerns, drug developers, the FDA, various consortiums, and technology companies have been working together to establish standards for moving forward.

Additionally, the report found that those who don’t believe CROs are prepared for wearable technology believe this is due to “a lack of CRO experience and expertise with wearable technology​.”

Several respondents also said CROs are not promoting capabilities with wearable technology.

(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)
(Image: Life Science Strategy Group, LLC)

As Outsourcing-Pharma.com previously reported, the clinical grade wearables market​ is expected to reach $18bn in 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.

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