Clinical research in the palm of your hand: smart phone apps for patient-centered research

Michael Mcconnell mvm@stanford.edu
Stanley Shaw shaw.stanley@mgh.harvard.edu
Yvonne Chan yu-fengyvonne.chan@mssm.edu
Stephen Friend friend@sagebase.org

Abstract

Today’s mobile phones (especially smartphones) are becoming powerful platforms for communicating, computing and sensing.  Mobile health “apps” have generated great interest as a means to improve self-tracking in health and disease. At the same time, smartphones can also enable new paradigms in clinical research. Potential benefits of smartphone-facilitated clinical research include longitudinal, more continuous data collection; novel phenotyping through passive and active measurements; access to a broader, more geographically distributed pool of participants; and using communication tools to foster participant engagement. Equally important, smartphone apps can help participants benefit from their own study data to an unprecedented extent, and contribute to a new culture of clinical research participation that is more centered on participants. This panel includes leaders from academic medicine and industry to discuss recent momentum in smartphone-based clinical research.

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