The rise…and rise of wearable devices in clinical trials - Arkivum

GxP / 26 May, 2022

The rise…and rise of wearable devices in clinical trials

Now, when you think about a wearable device, chances are that a FitBit or Apple watch spring to mind first. These devices are most likely a regular sighting at your gym, used to track and monitor exercise output and performance.  

But were you aware that this technology is expanding its reach into the field of life sciences and clinical trials? In fact, they’re being used to collect and analyse patient data in real-time.  

Old vs New 

As with all technology, this type has become increasingly sophisticated. Originally, wearables were glorified pedometers and now, they have features and sensors which undergo varying levels of scrutiny by health organisations such as the FDA. Whilst some interrogation occurs, there are still many gaps within existing regulations for this type of technology or data collection device. 

 2017 saw the debut of the first FDA-approved pill with a packaged sensor for tracking patient usage. 

Changes in patient data collection 

It’s worth noting that this trend of mobile health is not just limited to the use of wearables but also encompasses other areas such as remote patient monitoring and COVID-19 testing apps. 

Just as we saw with the increased adoption of decentralised clinical trials during the pandemic, this digital transformation within clinical trials combined with the need to make it easier for a patient to be involved in a trial may have caused the shift in data collection and reporting.  

It may even be the case that there is (or will be) a correlation between the increased use and acceptance of wearable devices gathering data within trials. 

With the use of wearable technology expanding into other remits, we can be certain that this market will continue to grow but in doing so, questions will be raised regarding the safety, collection and integrity of the data.  

We delve into this and more in our fully revised Guide to wearable devices, clinical trials and data integrity which you can access for FREE here.   

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Harriet Clark

Harriet is the Content Marketing Manager at Arkivum and joined the business in 2021. She is responsible for the creation of all marketing and sales content. Harriet is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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