One of the more promising consequences of consumerisation is how individuals will take on more responsibility for data collection. Patient monitoring in clinical trials is one example of how this trends is changing cost and speed dynamics in life sciences.

CRF Health is an electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) solutions provider founded in 2000 in Helsinki. The company provides a range of customized, interactive ePRO interfaces capable of generating real-time results, with an average compliance rate of 90% among users. CRF Health claims users in more than 300 clinical trials in 68 languages and in 74 countries.

In August 2011, the company announced open ePRO integration interface, which enables Sponsors and CROs to integrate their own eClinical systems with CRF Health’s ePRO platform, TrialMax®, to provide data collected from patients in real time to all study stakeholders. The range of benefits includes enabling sites to view all study data in one system, increasing efficiency of drug accountability, facilitating data management, and allowing easier correlation of adverse events. CRF Health’s TrialMax® has since become the first ePRO system to complete FDA Medical Device registration, a regulation that concerns medical device data systems (MDDS) that collect information from apparatus such as spirometers and glucometers.

Operational benefits

Without ePRO, investigators and their research teams would record outcomes manually, or have to verify records made by patients. By tapping into digital literacy of patients, the clinical trials process is made more efficient. This in turn should allow for more trials, enabling more drugs to be brought to market for the same budget and/or timeframe. We expect to see many more examples in other industries where mobile tech allows customer self-service, radically changing business dynamics.

This trend will also impact the technology operations demand landscape as user expectations will escalate to reflect the greater importance their devices play. As we predicted in our earlier review of self-service, social platforms are creating the equivalent of an open source services environment, connecting users and experts without any intermediary escalation process. Higher demand and self service will both conspire to put pressure on vendor maintenance margins.

Image credit: Billy Currie

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