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Customer Experience and Design

Using Digital Technology In Post-Market And Real-World Contexts

Digital technology has applications throughout clinical studies, from recruitment through data collection. But, it is also being used in exciting and meaningful ways once a drug or device has gone to market, both to improve patient outcomes and to keep sponsors informed. Below are a couple of examples.

Huggable, a teddy bear developed by Dr. Peter Weinstock, the director of a training program at Boston Children’s Hospital called the Simulator Program, and Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, the director of the personal robots group at M.I.T.’s Media Lab, provides children with chronic diseases a companion that can alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and simple boredom, all of which can all negatively affect their treatment. Huggable has embedded sensors that can provide physicians with insight into how the bear impacts children’s emotions. Currently 90 children are involved in a clinical trial to test Huggable.

uMotif is a platform that provides patients with tools to manage their particular conditions. It also incorporates valuable dashboard capabilities for physicians. The tools do a great job of facilitating the relationship between the patient and physician, so they can collectively manage patients’ conditions for better outcomes.

MC10 is an example of a digital patch that is used to constantly monitor vitals and other data points in the patients/users wearing it. Many different patches have been developed: some are the thickness of a human hair, some can bend, and some are waterproof. There are even skin patches that can stick to the user without adhesive, and others that leverage solar cells to power them. Skin patches can do a variety of things, such as track brain waves, blood flow, heart rate, and even the words that you are saying as you are saying them. Another innovation in skin patches is working memory, which allows these digital devices to collect and analyze data so that physicians can see data patterns in real-time. Perhaps the most exciting innovation thus far is the incorporation of a nano-sized drug delivery system, which can be deployed transdermally through these patches. Imagine a patch that can sense you are about to have a migraine or a seizure, and the patch delivers medication before you even notice the symptom. This is much more effective that taking a pill every few hours, not to mention that it can alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes from managing various medical conditions.

Digital devices like these help patients manage their conditions, facilitate the patient-physician relationship, and provide opportunities for data collection for sponsors, including effectiveness, potential adverse events, and even brand perception.

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Param Singh

Param Singh has been working in the life sciences industry his entire career. As the director of clinical trial management solutions at Perficient, he developed the clinical trial management team to become one of the best in the industry. Param leads a highly skilled team of implementation specialists and continues to build lasting relationships with clients. He has a knack for resource and project management, which allows clients to achieve success. Param has been with Perficient, via the acquisition of BioPharm Systems, since 2008. Prior to joining the company, he guided the clinical trial management group at Accenture.

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