Adherence Technology in Clinical Trials

HITLAB's Future of Virtual First: A Panel Discussion with Industry Leaders.

July 17, 2021  |   by Yitzchak David

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the adoption, expansion, and trouble-shooting of digital services across sectors. The clinical-trial space is no exception, with new platforms focusing on patient access to trial data, medication adherence, and feedback loops between patients and providers.

To advance the conversation in this critical arena, HITLAB’s recent symposium, The Future of Virtual Firsts in the American Healthcare System, welcomed a number of industry and academic leaders from across the healthcare spectrum. The symposium featured several panel discussions, interviews, and an innovators showcase, which highlighted new and emerging technologies within healthcare and clinical trials.

HITLAB’s Prem Sreenivasan, PhD and Stan Kachnowski, PhD moderated the panel discussion titled Adherence Technology in Clinical Trials. It featured Eric Delente Senior Director, Wearable Sensors from Medidata; Professor Rich Feeley from Boston University’s School of Public Health; and Associate Professor Antoinette Schoenthaler from NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Know Your Data: Self-Monitoring is a Powerful Tool

The panel focused on virtual firsts within the clinical trial space as technology has become more rapidly incorporated into healthcare service delivery since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For Mr. Delente, who helped develop one of the first electronic informed consent systems, the recent rapid adoption has helped push the development of more participant-facing applications, such as myMedidata which aims to allow patients to have access to their clinical trial data as well as conduct virtual follow-up visits.

The panel discussion also highlighted personal experiences with some of these virtual firsts. For Dr. Feeley, technology was instrumental in helping increase medication adherence for his son. eCAP, a product developed by Information Mediary Corporation in Canada, allowed him to track his son’s medications intake. After analyzing the data collected by the eCAP, Dr. Feeley tailored a personalized incentive program for his son to increase adherence. Slowly overtime, as Dr. Feeley noted, “what he learned was that he himself…by taking his meds, was in control and he could do what he wanted…”

"Self-monitoring is a very powerful intervention in itself"

—Dr. Antoinette Schoenthaler, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Insurance Coverage is Key Challenge to Expansion

Dr. Schoenthaler echoed similar sentiments when she stated, “self-monitoring is a very powerful intervention in itself.” However, despite the rapid expansion of technology because of the COVID-19 pandemic, affordability remains an important concern, he said. Self-monitoring creates a feedback loop between the patient and their provider, which has demonstrated to be very impactful for adherence. However, coverage of virtual first technologies by health and governmental insurance systems is key for widespread adoption across the healthcare space.

About the Author

Yitzchak David is a Research Nurse and health tech enthusiast with interests in biotechnology and digital health. Yitzchak has a Masters in Health Policy and Management from New York Medical College as well as undergraduate degrees in Political Science from Rutgers University and in Nursing from Farleigh Dickinson University.

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