Trial app gives a ‘complete picture’ through passive data collection

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Zhenikeyev)
(Image: Getty/Zhenikeyev)

Related tags: monARC Bionetworks, Clinical trial app

monARC Bionetworks' new app enables patients to track symptoms between clinic visits – while also passively collecting environmental data, such as location and air quality.

The app taps into blue-tooth enabled in-home tools like pulse-oximeters and spirometers while patients also share their health data directly to the app.

According to a spokesperson for monARC, the sharing capability “allows patients to collect a much more complete picture of how their disease or condition affects them; this information is invaluable to their doctors trying to make the best treatment decisions and life sciences companies working to develop better treatments.”

Currently, the app supports monARC’s patient research network for interstitial lung disease and atopic dermatitis. The monARC spokesperson said it can be modified for the purposes of conducting connected clinical trials which enable patients to participate in studies with fewer site visits.

“In our successful clinical trials to date, patients report excellent experience of the trial and we can recruit 9x faster, speeding the development of new therapies​,” said the spokesperson.

Passive data also is collected from the app through GPS location services and third-party weather and air quality datasets. This data includes everything from weather to air quality which may contribute to symptom exacerbation in patients. By combining multiple data sources to one app, patients and health care providers can examine potential relationships between environment and symptoms while tracking the impact of treatment.

The app serves as an addition to the monARC smart health record which pulls medical records from multiple health care providers into one digitized personal health record to provide a holistic and longitudinal view for research.

Patients can download the free app and become a member of the monARC patient research network enabling them to share de-identified information with researchers. In joining the network, patients will have to option to be matched to relevant clinical trials. 

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