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

Michael Mcconnell
Stanley Shaw
Yvonne Chan
Stephen Friend


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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