- Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis debuted a mobile phone app on Wednesday designed to collect real-time data from participants in ophthalmology clinical trials.
- The FocalView app, created using Apple’s ResearchKit, aims to improve understanding of eye disease progression by enabling patient-reported data and more easily accessed research designs. The company notes people with eye diseases may lack mobility to travel to a doctor’s office.
- Digital technologies could enhance clinical trial outcomes, while saving time and money. Novartis has R&D programs in six different disease areas.
Novartis plans to evaluate the app’s efficacy and usefulness in assessing visual function in a prospective, non-interventional study.
“Optimizing digital technology in research and development, particularly in ophthalmic disease, could have a marked impact on the quality of the data we capture,” Bertrand Bodson, chief digital officer at Novartis, said in a statement.
This isn’t Norvartis’ first foray into the digital world. The company recently partnered with Pear Therapeutics on software applications for patients with schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis and eventually other diseases. Pear develops prescription digital therapeutics that deliver treatment to patients via mobile and desktop apps. Once approved by FDA, they could work alongside drug therapies.
Novartis is also working with IBM Watson Health to discover ways to use patient data and cognitive analysis to help predict outcomes of breast cancer treatments.
Apple’s ResearchKit, which uses iPhones to collect health information and make it available for research, garnered new attention from the healthcare community after scientists last year published data on seizures, asthma attacks and heart disease using the tool.
FocalView is available free to researchers on an open-source platform.