The Apple Watch in clinical trials: Current uses and future possibilities
The use of wearables has been of great benefit to clinical trials: researchers can gather far more data, more often, more objectively, and more easily than ever before. And over the past year, digital tools for remote measurement made it possible to continue trials that otherwise would have been halted.
Of all these wearables, the Apple Watch has earned the highest rankings when it comes to gathering health data. Steady improvements in software, firmware, and form factor over the years have led to the Apple Watch being used in a variety of studies to investigate the effectiveness of treatments in areas where the watch’s efficacy as a research tool has already been satisfactorily demonstrated, and to investigate the Apple Watch for other use cases.
Koneksa Health is one of the companies that has been gathering Apple Watch data for research trials. For example, Koneksa has supported clinical trials using the Apple Watch in Parkinson’s disease, where symptoms such as tremors and difficulty with walking can be tracked by the watch’s sensors. The watch can also monitor symptom variations as a result of changes in medications or deep brain stimulation treatment.
Koneksa also supported a National Cancer Institute-sponsored study using step count as a possible prognostic marker in lung cancer patients, hoping to predict which patients would benefit from aggressive treatment. The study found that there was a 38 percent reduction in hospitalization risk for every 1,000 steps a lung cancer patient took each day.
The Apple Watch is simple to learn and easy to use, and its capabilities are constantly improving. Right now, people in the tech world are talking about the addition or improvement of the Apple Watch’s ability to measure blood oxygen saturation, glucose, stress, and blood pressure.
The Apple Watch and other wearables are vital to providing real-time insight into how diseases and conditions affect patients’ lives and the effectiveness of prescribed therapies in a way that is patient-centric and research-compliant. Of all the wearables on the market today, the Apple Watch is a top choice for addition to the technology ecosystem of clinical trials.
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