How Technology is Creating More Opportunities in Healthcare
The clinical industry has rapidly transformed into the high demand commercial environment we predicted it would become, with leading pharma striving to be more affordable and streamlined. To improve healthcare, we must continue to find trial solutions, by collaborating to meet enrollment goals and get drugs to market faster.
What are some of the challenges we encounter during drug development? Well, we have rising expectations, poor scientific productivity, and delays. The industry as a whole has been so caught up in the hustle and bustle of improving processes causing research to remain stagnant. The need for innovation has always been the talk of the town – but many miss opportunities to collaborate for enhanced innovation.
Consider the technologies of modern day health care:
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer generated image on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view of reality. Augmented reality made a big splash back in July 2016 with the release of the Pokémon Go gaming app. The app was free and available anyone with a smartphone. Studies show that Pokémon Go has allegedly increased health benefits to its users. In a small study conducted, at Duke, participants were walking an average of 2,000 more steps a day, probably in the hopes of catching a Charmander. In addition to improving health behaviors, augmented reality has also been used to help train medical professionals. For example, AccuVein produces technology to teach doctors and medical students how to perform certain surgeries and dissections without the need to cut into a human subject.
More immersive than augmented reality, virtual reality (VR) puts users in an entirely computer-generated situation. Many VR apps in the development phase intend to serve healthcare purposes. Some different VR health-focused programs in the works include exposure therapy for PTSD treatment, a distraction-based pain relief method, and a real-like task simulator that can supplement cognitive rehab programs for brain injury patients.
While the technology is still evolving, we are forecasting the ability to have eye and ear implants, which Google and Samsung are already working on patents for. These and other new 3D visual systems provide the opportunity to operate more efficiently and effectively than before.
23andMe has worked the perfect formula for “patient-centricity” from the inside out, collecting DNA samples for millions of willing participants to extract their 23 pairs of chromosomes to provide vital information about their health and ancestry. Why has this company (among others) been successful?
Considering the pharma industry and how drug development for diseases is the mission, 23andMe offers the information people want to know about their health and the future, while asking participants if they are willing to contribute their results to research. This is the ultimate formula for patient-centricity. Providing the ability for participants to volunteer their genetics and submit their discoveries to research means that there is a bank full of the types of information we need to potentially cure cancer or prevent Alzheimer’s.
If these innovative technologies were to collaborate, we may be living the future today.
One final innovation making an impact in healthcare, especially the clinical industry, is “Interoperability,” defined as the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information. For clinical trials, the next step is to get all research sites on the same or similar platforms that have the capability to integrate together. Having hospitals and health systems share information with each other will not only save time but will also ensure accuracy in data.
The same applies to CTMS platforms, automating and recording patient information from start to randomization. Platforms like RealTime are key components in tracking recruitment efforts and helping us understand how to track the patient journey throughout a study – don’t forget that moving away from the traditional paper and files method should save time and money in the long term!
Are you interested in learning more about the future of technology innovation in healthcare? Watch our webinar on technology and patient experience, on-demand today: