Apple’s medical research software ResearchKit is getting a boost from drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The pharma giant will use the company’s program as a way to kick start recruitment for a trial focusing on rheumatoid arthritis. GSK claims it is the first firm in the pharmaceutical industry to incorporate a tool like this into its research efforts.
GSK created a mobile application using ResearchKit’s framework to spend three months recording the mobility of 300 participants, reported Bloomberg. The app will work in conjunction with a guided wrist exercise that will harness the phone’s sensors for recording motion.
Results of this venture could help GSK create a better, cheaper clinical trial.
“One of the biggest challenges in clinical trials is that it’s hard to engage patients because they might have to take time off work, they often have to travel significant distances and then they’re subjected to a series of measures that can be invasive,” explained Rob DiCicco, the head of GSK’s clinical innovation and digital platforms group, to Bloomberg.
It could cut down on recruitment costs because patients would simply need to enter data, such as physical and emotional symptoms, on their own time using their phones.
However, there are some downsides to this technique, noted FierceBiotech. A risk of bias is involved because iPhones tend to be an expensive purchase so enrollment could be limited. Also, patients could grow tired of continuously inputting information into their phones so there is no guarantee GSK will get a comprehensive overview of the condition after the trial is over.
No specific drug is at the center of this experiment, but DiCicco told Bloomberg he hopes these findings could potentially lead to new measurements for refining clinical trial success or establishing a supplemental tool for collecting data.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery