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The Potential for IoMT in Removing Clinical Trial Friction

Jackie Brusch
Publication Date
20 November 2019

The Potential for IoMT in Removing Clinical Trial Friction

$136.8 Billion

That’s the proposed size that one report predicts the IoT healthcare market will reach worldwide by 2021. 

And with 3.7 million medical devices already monitoring patient data across the globe, the potential use cases for IoT in healthcare and life sciences are limitless.

IoT: A Foundation in Healthcare

Did you know that, according to data published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 86% of healthcare expenditures are for people with chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and dementia? As an industry, healthcare and life science professionals must find innovative ways to treat, manage, and track these conditions.

One way that patients have managed to take control is by using technology, such as wearables, to capture a complete health profile, helping them set, work toward, and achieve their health goals. 

Take for example Fitbit which, over the course of five years, experienced extreme revenue growth, from $5 million dollars in 2010, to $1.8 billion dollars in 2015. As demand for tools to help people take control of their health evolves, so too must the industry.

IoT 2.0: The Role of Medical Devices & Wearables in Clinical Trials 

IoT in healthcare is used primarily to manage existing conditions, which already have a plan prepared by the patient’s primary care provider and care team(s). But, how can technology impact the development of new drugs and treatments?

Clinical trials are hard. In the United States alone, it takes an average of 12 years for an experimental drug to travel from the laboratory to your medicine cabinet. That is, if it even makes it that far.

Only 5 in 5,000 drugs that enter preclinical testing advance to the human testing phase. One of these 5 drugs that are tested in people is approved. And the chance for a new drug to actually make it to market is only 1 in 5,000. 

With so many factors at play, and a staggering 30% dropout rate across all clinical trials, we have to find a better way to engage patients and clinical trial staff, making clinical trials easier for everyone.

Benefits of IoT in Clinical Trials

There are many ways that IoT can remove friction from clinical trials. Here are some key benefits that technology presents for this growing market: 

  • Faster, more efficient data collection: With connected devices, it’s much faster to collect data from clinical trial subjects, track adverse events, and report patient engagement and compliance metrics 
  • Enhanced subject experience: Quicker interaction with clinical staff when needed could dramatically increase support for trial participants, reducing dropout rates and poor data quality (as a result of poor patient engagement due to poorly designed experiences) 
  • Operational efficiency: Make less work for clinical project managers and staff by incorporating technology in the clinical trial process to create greater efficiency and automation in their day-to-day tasks
  • Decreased costs: With IoT, patients don’t need to visit the site; everything can be remotely monitored, which can be especially important for very sick participants
  • Flexible trial design: Technology allows clinical trial staff to make changes to the trial design quickly, and thus those changes can be communicated to participants faster 

As technology continues to evolve, the time to invest is now. If you’re wondering how IoT could benefit your business or fit into a more comprehensive digital strategy, let’s talk. Contact us now to talk about your digital transformation goals.

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