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DIA2015 EXCLUSIVE: Medical App Market Will Reach $26B By 2017, Is the “Future of Healthcare,” Exec Tells BioSpace (DHX)

6/19/2015 9:59:41 AM

DIA2015 EXCLUSIVE: Medical App Market Will Reach $26B By 2017, Is the “Future of Healthcare,” Exec Tells BioSpace
June 19, 2015
By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

Mobile technology is the future of healthcare, an executive with Medidata told BioSpace (DHX) at DIA 2015 this week, as both patients and their caregivers begin to create personalized medicine that reaches them across all their technological devices.

Phil Coran, director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Medidata, told BioSpace that the mobile health app market is projected to reach $26 billion by 2017, creating an enormous amount of opportunity for industry to begin designing their ideal products.

Coran chaired a panel at DIA, “mHealth/mClinical and Clinical Trials: A Candid Discussion on Opportunities and Risks” on Thursday. BioSpace talked with him afterwards about mobile health (mHealth) and mClinical devices in the consumer and medical market and how these services may enhance clinical trials.

What’s hot in mobile health right now?

Mobile apps -- and there are lots of them, with over 100,000 healthcare apps right now. The number of mHealth apps doubled from 2012 to 2014, and the market value is projected to reach $26 billion by 2017, according to a recent survey. Yet this boom and excitement is tempered by a measure of uncertainty as the industry, regulators, and sponsors try to figure out how to utilize mHealth tools (like wearables and apps) in the regulated clinical trials context to collect data in a regulatory compliant manner.

As always, more regulatory guidance would be welcome, but I think we’re going to see adoption among life sciences companies focused on exploring quality of life endpoints, even including the integration of phenotypic data and other surrogate endpoints. Sponsors seeking to explore new endpoints should be in contact with the applicable regulatory review divisions.
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How does that improve patient care?

Mobile technology is already impacting healthcare in quite a variety of different contexts, whether it’s connecting patients to healthcare professionals, or allowing patients to better monitor and manage their health. These technologies have the potential to help gather more and better data on disease progression and patient response to therapy. That’s why 86% of healthcare professionals believe health apps will increase their knowledge of patients’ conditions, according to the 2015 Research Now mHealth Survey.

How can they help clinical trials?

Right now, the majority of mHealth technology is consumer oriented. However, the industry is starting to realize the vast potential mHealth has in the realm of clinical trials. In fact, a search revealed 131 interventional trials are in some way relying on mHealth technology, and over 1,000 trials resulted when simply searching “mobile health.” At the tip of the iceberg is the empowerment of patients and clinicians to monitor and connect. Well-chosen mHealth technologies will naturally reduce the burden on both patients and investigators by streamlining routine procedures, eliminating unnecessary ones and even decreasing visits to clinical trial sites.

New technologies also begets new challenges and considerations. The life sciences industry must be mindful of choosing the right tools and services that will provide insightful data. And as a community, we must also keep in mind privacy and security considerations. As we continue to see the emergence of mHealth into regulated studies, navigating these challenges in a step-wise and compliant way will mean efficiencies and new insights are sure to follow.

After AstraZeneca CMO Abruptly Quits, Where Could He Be Headed?
This week the chief medical officer of British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) abruptly quit his post to become the chief executive officer of an unnamed, smaller biotech company. That’s lead BioSpace to wonder, with his background in R&D and in large companies like Pfizer Inc. (PFE), where will Briggs Morrison wind up? We want to know your thoughts.

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