Mobile Health: Are Clinical Trials On the Move?

Mobile Health: Are Clinical Trials On the Move?

This article is based on findings included in SCORR Marketing’s and Applied Clinical Trials’ Survey Report: “Mobile Health in Clinical Trials.”

Mobile technology has changed our lives. Now it’s changing the drug development services industry.

Mobile health, or mHealth, technology enables companies to optimize clinical trials and improve engagement with participants through the use of mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, tablets, smartphone apps and other wireless devices.

But what is the perceived uptake in the industry? Is mHealth poised to change the clinical trials landscape?

SCORR and Applied Clinical Trials1 conducted a survey to answer those questions and identify trends and attitudes among professionals involved in clinical trials.

In our survey, “Mobile Health in Clinical Trials,” we gathered information on:

  • The biggest benefi­ts of mHealth technologies in clinical trials
  • The biggest challenges mHealth poses
  • What factors are making it dif­ficult for companies to implement mHealth
  • Therapeutic areas where mHealth is most useful
  • What companies want to achieve with mHealth technologies

Here are some key takeaways from the survey:


Biggest Benefit

More than 35 percent believe improved data quality is the biggest benefit mHealth offers. Improved data quality is also the main objective of most respondents. It’s been proven the technology has the power to comprehensively collect large volumes of data that is reliable, analysis-ready and provides real-time, continuous insight into the well-being of patients.

Biggest Challenge

Twenty-two percent believe security is a challenge, as information stored on mobile devices is prone to being hacked, misplaced, lost or stolen.2 The cost that comes with the acquisition, implementation and maintenance of mHealth technology is also a concern.

Most Effective Use in a Clinical Trial

Respondents felt that disease-specific wireless health monitoring would be the most effective application of mHealth technology used in a clinical trial.



Most Useful Therapeutic Area

The majority of respondents consider mHealth to be most useful in cardiovascular or cardiac safety studies.

Other takeaways:

  • It’s a toss-up between the FDA and the industry itself as to who should be regulating the development and use of mHealth in clinical trials.
  • Companies recognize the need to confront internal obstacles by improving their own mHealth knowledge and expertise by obtaining stronger support from key leaders.
  • More than half of respondents currently use mHealth technology.
  • Almost half of respondents plan to incorporate an mHealth component in their clinical trials within the next year. Only 14 percent say they have no plans to implement mHealth technology.

For more information about mHealth trends, read the Applied Clinical Trials article about the survey and download the full “Mobile Health in Clinical Trials” report.


1 Applied Clinical Trials Online,

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information,

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