Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Smartphone App Created Using Apple’s ResearchKit Used to Conduct Asthma Clinical Studies



The approach allowed the researchers to enroll a large number of participants in the study, from across the US.

Share this!

March 22, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have conducted a large-scale, observational study of asthma patients using the Apple ResearchKit framework and the Asthma Health app on patients’ iPhones. The study investigators published their results in the journal, Nature Biotechnology.

The approach allowed the researchers to enroll a large number of participants in the study, from across the US. In addition, the app allowed study investigators and app users to securely exchange data, and allowed to investigators to collect additional information including device data, air quality and geolocation.

“The Asthma Mobile Health study represents the coming together of academia and industry to benefit from the ubiquity of smartphones and harness the power of citizen-science to modernize the clinical research process,” said Dr. Eric Schadt, senior study author and Founding Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. “We now have the ability to capture rich research data from thousands of individuals to better characterize ‘real world’ patterns of disease, wellness, and behavior. This approach provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of our patients that was not feasible in the past due to logistical limitations and prohibitive costs.”

Upon its release in March 2015, the Asthma Health app was downloaded by US residents from the Apple App Store over 40,000 times in the first six months. Of this number, 7,593 people completed the enrollment process.

In addition to initial surveys meant to establish asthma history, comorbidities and demographics, patients were prompted to complete daily surveys including asthma symptoms, medication adherence and triggers for flare-ups. The researchers reported a high response rate with 85 percent of participants completing at least one of the surveys.

Just over 2,300 users were considered to be the most robust patients as they completed multiple surveys during the six-month study. To validate this patient-reported data, the researchers compared to results to other asthma studies.

“We critically assessed the feasibility, strengths, and limitations of a smartphone-based study and found that this methodology is particularly suitable for studies of short duration that require rapid enrollment across diverse geographical locations, frequent data collection, and real-time feedback to participants,” said principal investigator Dr. Yvonne Chan, Director of Digital Health and Personalized Medicine at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai. “Our study demonstrates the power of mobile health tools to scale and accelerate clinical research so that we can derive the evidence needed to inform clinical practice and improve patient care.”

Mobile health studies and virtual clinical trials are an emerging trend in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Provided that data collected from these studies is of high quality, they could present a number of benefits over traditional clinical research, including reduced patient burden and improved ability to reach global participants.

“Mount Sinai has a long history of embracing new technologies to enhance patient care, and I’m delighted to see that tradition continuing with this mobile health study,” said Dr. Dennis S. Charney, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We look forward to building on this work to serve new patient populations and to dramatically increase the amount of research data we can mine for discoveries that will ultimately improve healthcare for people around the world.”

Keywords: Mobile Health, Virtual Clinical Trials, Asthma


Share this with your colleagues!

Avastin Biosimilar Becomes First FDA-Approved Copy-Cat for Cancer

September 18, 2017 - In an historic event, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a biosimilar version of Roche’s cancer treatment Avastin (bevacizumab).

Featured In: Biotech News

Will an Open-Access Clinical Trials Database Improve Drug Development?

September 18, 2017 - New Jersey-based business intelligence firm OZMOSI has launched a free-to-use, open-access database of clinical trial data collected from studies around the world.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News

First Oral Drug for Type 1 Diabetes Could be Available in 2018

September 15, 2017 - A type 1 diabetes drug being codeveloped by Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi could be the first oral treatment approved for the autoimmune disease following the release of promising Phase III clinical trial results.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News


Five Reasons Why Toronto is Emerging as a Major Life Sciences Hub


Reducing Clinical Trial Failure With New Tools for Drug Target Identification and Prioritization

CRO Benchmark Survey: Peer Review and Perspective of Oversight and Collaboration

Agile IRT/RTSM: Enabling Clinical Trial Design and Supply Innovation

Chronic Pain: Conducting Clinical Trials in Osteoarthritis

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.