Wearables, Social Media and eConsent in Clinical Trials in Developing Countries

Aug 26, 2016
More innovations are coming to clinical research and they are not just being used in the US and Europe.  Wearables, which are popular in the US, are now being seen as a research tool to be used for remote monitoring of research subjects in clinical trials. One advantage is the ability to do continuous monitoring without the subject needing to keep a daily diary. This is particularly effective for glucose monitoring in following patients with diabetes.
Social media is gaining traction as a method to recruit research volunteers.  It  is a quick way to get the word out to many through a tweet once a large enough based of volunteers is following a recruitment account. However, regulatory concerns persist, and some are seeking clearer guidance from government research regulators.
Another tool in making clinical trials more digital is the use of e-Consent. “Electronic-Consent (e-Consent) is a newly evolving platform for consenting patients either on site or at home using a computer based consent form rather than traditional paper documentation.” It is now also being implemented through mobile apps, such as, Apple’s Research Kit.  E-Consent has been implemented internationally with success in reducing the administrative burden within clinical trials even in developing countries.
These innovations are leading the way toward more efficient and patient-centered approaches to clinical research in developing countries.