The connecting of devices over the internet, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing the way in which we all live our lives. From traffic signals to smart home appliances and workplaces using the internet, the network is expanding every day.
No industry seems to be left untouched by the IoT, including the healthcare sector, in which connected devices are helping to improve the quality of care as the result of more accurate patient information and allowing people to take better control of their health.
It is also changing the way in which clinical trials work, helping them to be more cost effective and efficient by reducing the amount of time it takes to research new treatments.
There are thousands of clinical trials taking place globally, some which are undertaken by big pharmaceutical companies, while others use a contract research organization to provide experienced consultants and medical professional to obtain the results needed.
These trials cost millions of pounds from initial research to post-approval, although many never make it past the initial phase, with high failure rates due to poor results or a lack of participation. Now researchers are looking at new ways to carry out clinical trials, including the use of more technology to reduce costs and improve data.
The use of the IoT can aid clinical research in a number of ways to save time and money. This includes making the recruitment of patients for Paid Medical Trials through links like www.trials4us.co.uk more efficient by analysing big data, enabling recruiters to target the most appropriate people. Trial recruiters are using social media to advertise, in addition to search engine marketing, to pinpoint those best suited to a specific trial.
According to the OECD, the IoT can be used to improve the accuracy of clinical trials, enabling researchers to use connected devices such as ingestible sensors and wearables to collect study data easily and without inconveniencing the patients. This not only increases patient retention but also improves the accuracy of any data collected. This data can be collected at any time and automatically analysed.
While the implementation of such new technologies in the healthcare system may prove challenging, the management of health is having to adapt to improve and take advantage of the many potential benefits.