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CTTI Article Sheds Light on Participants’ Views of Mobile Clinical Trials

While adoption of mobile technologies presents many opportunities to enhance the quality and efficiency of clinical research, questions remain on patients’ preferences surrounding the use of mobile technologies in clinical trials. To help trial sponsors and others maximize the potential offered by mobile technologies, CTTI surveyed a group of potential research participants and recently published findings from the survey in Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications.

The survey results, which include responses from 193 individuals ages 23 to 83, shed light on the respondents’ perceptions of and willingness to participate in mobile clinical trials. In the survey, participants were presented with two similar hypothetical clinical trial scenarios: 1) relying on participants’ use of wearable and other mobile technologies outside of the clinic setting to collect study endpoints, and 2) relying on traditional in-clinic follow-up appointments with study staff to collect study endpoints. About 81 percent of respondents said they were willing to participate in the hypothetical mobile clinical trial, while only about 51 percent were willing to participate in the similar traditional clinical trial.

If given the option of participating in either scenario, the majority of respondents (76 percent) said they would prefer to participate in a mobile trial over a traditional one, citing greater convenience, fewer in-person visits, and perceived greater data collection accuracy offered by the mobile technology. Respondents were willing to use a variety of technologies―including mobile apps, wearable devices, and ingestible sensors―provided they were comfortable, convenient, and easy to use.

The survey also collected data about the aspects of mobile clinical trials that cause participants concern. Those who are less familiar with technology or do not use a smartphone said they are less likely to participate in a mobile clinical trial. Nearly half of respondents reported that they would not participate in a trial if there were no guarantees that their data would remain confidential, while others expressed concern about seeing a doctor less frequently in a mobile clinical trial setting.

CTTI’s findings contributed to the development of recently-announced recommendations and resources that help the research enterprise maximize the opportunities of mobile technologies to advance the development of new medical products. Related work and resources can be found as part of CTTI's broader Mobile Clinical Trial program