'Biopharma has a real opportunity to move quickly with remote, virtual trial technology,' says Data Cubed's new CCO

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Data Cubed looks to be the go-to provider as the industry shifts to virtual clinical trials

Related tags Data Cubed virtual lab Technology

Data Cubed’s new CCO David Kiger – who has held roles at Bioclinica and Parexel – says the company is primed to be the go-to provider as the industry continues to shift to virtual clinical trials. 

Data Cubed’s mobile health (mHealth) platform takes inspiration from popular games such as Candy Crush and World of Warcraft in an aim to increase patient engagement in clinical research.

After being named to the role of chief commercial officer (CCO), Outsourcing-Pharma (OSP) caught up with Kiger (DK) to discuss how his experience will help drive the company forward – and what keeps him up at night.

OSP: How will previous experience help you in this new role?   

DK:​ I have had a lot of experience working with teams to develop design, strategy and interface of clinical research platforms with established providers.

In this new role, I am excited to focus on an earlier stage of the process and will be able to help craft and tailor what and how we approach our technology and capabilities at Data Cubed based on what I’ve seen in terms of industry needs and gaps. The user design work I helped lead with Accenture is incredibly useful when providing input to our design architects on mobile technology user interfaces (UX).

My experience at Parexel will help us now develop a single patient platform that can handle broad therapeutic requirements as we look to expand our research offerings, especially in rare disease, diabetes, pain, oncology, and CNS.

It’s an exciting time to help expand and build our offerings with pharma and CROs – we’re uniquely positioned to help drive the transition to value based care and have tapped into best practices across many areas (academia, gaming, human behavior) to create a first of its kind solution that’s scalable.

OSP: Over your career, how have you seen the industry evolve? What is the one most significant change?  

DK: ​I've seen biotechs and pharma recognize that best-of-breed is extremely important but that software needs to be interoperable with a variety of systems. If you look back at systems developed more than five years ago, you see a variety of duplicate sites, patients, and visit design and best-of-breed providers didn't think about how they would integrate with this.

At Data Cubed we are focused on making our data and web services available for users, patients and sites so that data can be easily leveraged and configured seamlessly once across all applications. We are an open platform and a partner-centric company.

OSP: What is the company’s strategy for commercialization and corporate development? Especially with several companies in this space, how will you stand out?  

DK: ​We have a significant focus on the end-user, from patient, caregiver, site coordinator, clinician, and health provider roles – which is unique in itself. We integrate each of these user needs into our design strategy from stage one, focusing in on one of our core tenants – humanizing the clinical process in order to achieve better, more comprehensive data.

Our apps are breakthrough, engaging, and have demonstrated a high patient retention rate through the unique and successful implementation of gaming tactics and design investment and strategy.

We are significantly ahead in the race to next-gen look and feel and, while we can meet sponsors where they are at the current moment, we are primed to be a go-to provider as the industry continues to shift to virtual trials and RWE.

OSP: What are the next steps?  

DK: ​We can't disclose all commercialization launches, but we are leveraging Paul Glimcher's immense knowledge in the study of human behavior and decision-making.

With our c-suites deep scientific and academic backgrounds we can answer broad and deep questions like: What app behavior is most efficient in an opioid wellness center? How does a country’s government understand how AI will affect jobs? How does air quality affect asthma within a region? How can a patient's geolocation information be leveraged in treating Alzheimer's, Infectious disease, or COPD? Our ability to tailor our tools and scale according to our pharma and CRO clients’ needs is pretty much limitless.

Right now, we are focused on continuing to build out SideKick – our core platform – as the first patient outcome technology with a consumer look and feel. Built on our Clinical Platform, Sidekick has all of the features and functionality of a powerful ePRO tool wrapped into an easy to use and accessible interface using gamified techniques.

It can be used for high compliance outcome assessments and breakthrough patient engagement, but the secret sauce to the software is in all the data collected by the phone OS once consent is provided.

OSP: What keeps you up a night?  

DK: ​Slow industry movement to "BYOD" Bring Your Own Device as a pivotal component of moving further towards virtual trials.

At this point, we hear weak excuses on why a company can't do BYOD. Other regulated industries adopt technology more quickly without risk.

A patient doesn't want to carry two devices – their own and one provisioned by the study team – and it’s known that compliance rates are higher with BYOD than with multiple phones.

The biopharma market has a real opportunity to move quickly with remote, virtual trial technology and there isn’t much downside - it’s better for trial participants and far more cost effective for sponsors.

We’ve primed our technology to help drive this shift for our clients by demonstrating some of the highest retention rates in the market and making our tablets and apps fully BYOD capable across Apple and Android devices.

OSP: What does the Gartner recognition of being a ‘Cool Vendor’ mean for the company?  

DK: ​I've watched enterprise SaaS and software vendors attempt to get on the Gartner quadrants for the last two decades – it's not easy.

This is a great recognition that validates that our backend and user interface technology is unique and fully enterprise ready. It adds an extra layer of credibility and validity to the work the team has been doing to help streamline and evolve how we approach clinical research.

Technology is critical for the patient, but a medical device or pharmaceutical company wants to be able to look at diary compliance rates, country trends, and device up-time so we focus just as much attention on clinical compliance visualizations as we do on the user experience.

Both aspects are critical to provide better, more tailored data at a better cost. We have the ability to meet our clients where they are in the transition process and can fully personalize any one of our systems according to specific research needs. 

Trials & Tribulations is a column dedicated to exploring the key trends and challenges facing clinical trials and the greater contract research and manufacturing industry. Have a challenge you are trying to solve? Email me at Melissa.Fassbender@wrbm.com.

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