Leaders in technology and Drug Development met at CNS Summit 2017, down in Boca Raton, FL. Team members from both BTC Network and ClinEdge attended the conference and had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals to discuss how far we've come and where the industry is heading. This year, there were companies showcasing state-of-the-art technology that has not fully been immersed in pharma but has big potential in moving research forward. Here's what some of our team members who attended have to say.
At CNS Summit this year it was great connecting with colleagues in the industry and I was very excited to learn about all of the upcoming studies in a variety of psychiatric and neurological indications, including depression, PTSD, ADHD, schizophrenia, and more. We had great conversations with pharmaceutical companies and CROs about how we can work together to streamline the clinical trial process for many of these upcoming studies, and it was great to brainstorm various ways that we can make the research process easier. We are very excited about the potential for 2018 and we can’t wait to reconnect with everyone to talk about all the great progress we will make leading up to CNS Summit 2018!
I found the STARR coalition exhibit to be really interesting and I’m so glad I stopped by the booth. Aside from the adorable emotional support puppy in training, the booth featured an interactive listening station to demonstrate the auditory hallucinations that many schizophrenic patients suffer from. Not only did the booth allow participants to listen to these hallucinations, but we were also invited to try completing very simple tasks while listening to these voices. The voices were distracting and also quite menacing, taunting us while counting money, filling out a job application, and writing the pledge of allegiance. Even after taking off the headphones I felt stressed and anxious. I can’t even imagine having to deal with such a condition on a daily basis!
Visiting this exhibit gave me a whole new outlook on schizophrenia. I immediately understood what the STARR coalition was all about and why patient advocacy groups are so crucial, especially in regards to mental health, where people often feel alienated and judged in a society where mental health disorders are stigmatized. When patients suffering from any disease feel that they have support and options available to them they are able to empower themselves and their community. Creating an environment for patients to feel welcome, hopeful, and cared for is key to advancing research. We are obviously in a very technology driven era and in the perfect position to continue to build and grow these patient advocacy groups. Using the internet and social media to unite patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and researchers will without a doubt have a tremendous effect on the research industry moving forward.
I was floored by the technology I tested in the exhibit hall at CNS Summit. One of the companies showcased technology that has transferred over from novel experiments to real-world solutions in clinical trials, mainly demonstrating how it's used for exposure therapy for war heroes who return to the states with PTSD. When I put the goggles on, the first thing I saw was military running around a desert area. I immediately saw how beneficial this was!
AiCure was the other exhibit I spent some time learning about. They were showcasing facial recognition technology that tracks adherence for patients who are required to take medication. It's technology that 1. identifies the patient, 2. identifies the medication, and 3. has real-time ingestion confirmation. They claim to have increased adherence, statistical power with data, and retention, and I believe it!
It's amazing to me the distance technology has come. We thank CNS Summit for bringing it all together!
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