An Intel IT study has found that the inclusion of healthcare technologies, such as apps, biosensors, and wearables, in clinical trials will surge to 70% by 2025, according to Endpoints News.

Keith Wenzel, Senior Director, Scientific Data Organization, Parexel, says sensor-based and patient-centric technologies for clinical trial data collection have represented the latest medical paradigm shift, with as many as 700 clinical studies of wearable devices being conducted in the United States alone.

These technologies increase the visibility of comprehensive patient data, allowing companies to anticipate the benefits of wearables to include better data (58%), faster results (33%), and lower trial costs (10%), per the news outlet.

In addition, these technologies improve the overall patient experience, resulting in higher patient recruitment, engagement, and retention. Nearly 90% of sponsors that use wearable devices in clinical trials say that patient feedback has been promising, according to Wenzel.

“I recently moderated a webinar that took a closer look at the use of wearable devices for clinical trials, “ Wenzel writes. “The interactive discussion featured my sensors and wearables colleagues from Parexel and Actigraph, a provider of medical-grade biometric monitoring technology solutions.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the use of wearables in clinical trials, especially for fully decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) in which patients participate entirely from their home or local community.

“At Parexel, we guide sponsors through scientific considerations and operational requirements for the successful use of mHealth (mobile health) devices in clinical research,” Wenzel says.

“We have been at the forefront of wearable, mobile technology even prior to the pandemic,” he adds. “My colleague Rosamund Round, leader of Parexel’s Patient Innovation Center, recently spoke about Parexel’s work with DCTs.”

Round tells Contract Pharma magazine “Parexel now includes DCT in 80% of phase II/III and 100% of phase IV proposals. We see DCT as the centerpiece of a new operating model and how we can best support patients in or near their home to improve trial access and experiences.”

Parexel is a provider of biopharmaceutical services. The Massachusetts-based company conducts clinical trials on behalf of its pharmaceutical clients to expedite the drug approval process.

Nathan Noakes, Solutions Architect and Program Director at Parexel’s Scientific Data Organization advises that it is important to start with the right kind of technology.

He says, “You need to be sure that the type of device that you are selecting is the right one for the protocol, the right one for the patient, and is going to give you the endpoints and the outputs that you are expecting.”

Jeremy Wyatt, CEO of ActiGraph, says that wearable sensors offer “a much more granular view into the patient and a better opportunity to understand what’s going on in the patient’s life, rather than just what some biomarker tells us about a blood sample.”

ActiGraph is the global research community’s trusted advisor and most experienced provider of medical-grade biometric monitoring technology solutions. Its wearable accelerometer-based biosensors and innovative technology platform deliver validated digital biomarker data and end-to-end study support services for academic and pharmaceutical research, according to the company’s website.

“Our research findings suggest that survey respondents believe that patients find wearable and connected devices appealing,” says Wenzel. “Most like the reduction in the number of trial site visits that are required by using a DCT model with telehealth options. This engagement leads to both easier recruitment and increased retention of patients.”

The evaluation concludes, “Overall, wearables herald a new era in healthcare delivery with the potential to transform many aspects of clinical care.” The article was originally published in Endpoints News, written by Wenzel.