ARCH, the Centre for Applied Research for Connected Health, announced on Wednesday the launch of a collaborative study to assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely within a care home environment.
The findings from this connected health study could enhance the design of future clinical trials to make them more patient-centric, more engaging and more convenient for those who participate in them. Researchers will also assess if the remote trial places additional burden on care home staff and patients.
ARCH is undertaking this research study, called REACHES (REmote Assessment of older people in a Care HomE Setting), in collaboration with industry partners; ICON Clinical Research, Kinesis Health Technologies, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company, and Big Cloud Analytics and supported by Dublin-based Physiotherapy Clinic, Fit for Life.
Clinical trials traditionally take place in a hospital setting, which often restricts participation from patients with limited mobility and independence due to problematic logistics and limited travel ability.
An alternative approach is to move the clinical trial beyond the confines of the hospital. Enabling this ‘place-shifting’ may result in wider participation and engagement in clinical trials.
Led by a team of ARCH researchers, this study will assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely in a care home, Mount Hybla Private, in Castleknock, Dublin, using a selection of mobile and wearable solutions provided by the collaborating companies.
The QTUG device provided by Kinesis Health Technologies, will assess aspects of mobility, balance and fall risk of participants. The Aging Research App developed by ICON with mProve Health using Apple Research Kit, will be used to deliver an electronic version of the Age-Related Muscle Loss Questionnaire. The Covalence analytics platform from Big Cloud Analytics will allow visualisation and engagement messaging for trial participants and clinicians for overall health and wellness monitoring and improvement.
“I’m delighted to see this academic-industry-clinical multi-disciplinary collaboration taking place.,” ARCH Centre Director Michael O’Shea said. “Traditional clinical trial research is becoming financially unfeasible. Sponsors and clinical research organisations (CROs) are looking to decrease costs and improve efficiency. An important strategy is the use of technology in the design and execution of clinical trials. The promise and potential benefits of the ‘Patient Centric’ clinical trial design needs to be traded off against what is referred to as the ‘Patient Burden’.
“The importance of understanding the optimal level of interaction with technology and devices for patients is key to successful trial design and execution and projects like this are a fundamental step in answering this question.”
ARCH, the Irish national centre for applied connected health research, is headquartered at NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre at UCD. As an industry-led technology centre, funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, ARCH provides access to world-class healthcare professionals, academics, patient cohorts and industry networks to explore and evaluate connected health solutions for the global market.
ARCH focuses on the adoption, deployment and sustainability of connected health solutions which will benefit the Irish and international economy and society.
Over 30 industry partners, from start-ups to multinationals, are currently steering ARCH’s research programme.
These industry partners; S3 Group, Vu2Vu, Hermitage Medical Clinic, Novartis, ADA Security Systems, Relate Care, Two Ten Health, Philips Healthcare, ResMed, ICON, SwiftQueue, HealthBridge Technology, Dolmen, PatientMpower, Nurse Buddy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salaso Healthcare, McGreal Group, Caragon, Evolve Technologies, nSilico Lifescience, Neuromod Devices, Odyssey Validation Consultants, Kinesis Health Technologies, Medaval, Insulcheck, Foundry Innovation & Research 1 (FIRE 1), 3rd Pillar Clinical, Big Cloud Analytics and IBM; are all actively involved in the connected health sector.