We are at the cusp of adoption of the medical Internet of Things (IoT) in the life sciences industry. This disruptive innovation promises to help deliver improved performance, compliance, and safety in clinical trials (and general patient care) as information sharing becomes increasingly transparent.
Leveraging technological advances from remote healthcare monitoring in the healthcare provider space, it is becoming increasingly possible and practical to actively measure a patient's medical condition in real time and share this information with their caregivers and doctors. In all cases, it will be important to have the explicit permission of the patient involved to ensure that they are comfortable with sharing their data. From a technology perspective, the blending medical technologies with wireless capabilities and smartphones becomes the medical IoT. With more and more medical IoT solutions approved by regulatory agencies and available commercially, the extension to life science R&D, and more specifically clinical trials becomes an obvious no brainer. While a companion to the increasing need to better engage and deliver value to trial participants directly, IoT promises to provide trial investigators with a more real time view of the patient experience and collect data that we have previously been unable to capture.
Expect rapid adoption of IoT for new clinical trials as these technologies become cheaper, more available, and address specific trial needs. While it is likely that only new trials will exploit these technologies going forward, it is likely that consumer advances will aid in industry adoption, with solutions like Apple's HealthKit, Proteus' ingestible sensor, HealthPatch MD, and potentially even the Fitbit leading the industry's use of IoT.
As always, comments and alternative opinions are welcome.