Section 508

February 20th, 2019

Mobile Devices the Next Frontier in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials will remain a mainstay for regulatory approval, but, thankfully, we can now leverage technology to help streamline the patient experience and data collection, saving precious time and money. Paper diaries are as obsolete as rotary phones. These days, there is no reason not to be using a tablet or phone for patient diaries, and we now have access to a host of other devices with potential usages. DMI expects multiple devices per patient per trial will become the norm. This raises a number of interesting topics, among them how to manage those devices – and the invaluable data they contain.

Topics we would like to explore in later pieces include:

  • What do these devices mean for the patient/caregiver experience?
  • What is the impact on investigators and sites?
  • How many is too many?

We believe that a comprehensive device management strategy can help address two critical areas of concern for clinical trials:

  • Patient Retention
  • Adherence/compliance

Providing a best-in-class experience for a patient going through a clinical trial will help to enhance patient recruitment and enrollment, reduce patient dropout and improve compliance. Having more patients complete trials efficiently will improve the overall landscape of clinical trials.

“DMI’s industry leading expertise in managed mobility services affords us the unique opportunity to have a positive impact on patients and providers while at the same time helping to transform the healthcare space.” says DJ Oreb, president, Commercial Managed Mobility Services, DMI.

Key Benefits from Mobile Technologies

While working with one provider will provide cost savings, it may be more important that this will also allow for implementation of a uniform data integration framework across clinical programs. Key questions at the trial level will be how frequently data from different devices needs to sync, where/how to integrate it and how to ensure security. With our experience in pharma, other regulated industries and government we address these types of issues on a daily basis.

“It is clear to us that by applying what DMI has learned in other aspects of pharma and other industries to the clinical trial space we can achieve considerable improvements in enrollment, retention, collection of data and completion of trials resulting in reduced cycle time and considerable cost savings,” says Joel Spittal, pharma and medical device, industry GM, at DMI.

In a survey with SCORR Marketing and Applied Clinical Trials to determine the interest and reach of mobile device use in clinical trials, most respondents recognized the benefits, with particular emphasis on improved data quality (cited by 35.2 percent of respondents), improved patient engagement (28.5 percent) and improved early safety signal detection (17.2 percent).

It’s easy to see how all those areas could be impacted by the usage of mobile devices, but none of them will happen automatically. We also need to recognize that there is a tipping point, meaning, too many devices in one trial can actually negatively impact recruitment and retention.


We believe that mobile devices can truly transform how clinical trials are administered – from collection of real time patient data, to secure and effective data management, to timely advanced analytics. The potential is limitless.

DJ Oreb – President, Commercial Managed Mobility Services Division
Joel Spittal – Pharma & Medical Device, Industry GM
Andrew Brockett – Director, Business Innovation

Tags: Clinical Trials healthcare mobile mobile devices

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