- Pharma giant Roche has developed a smartphone app that will be used to track Parkinson's disease patients' symptoms during a phase I drug trial being conducted in conjunction with Prothena Biosciences, Mobi Health News reports.
- The app will run on Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini smartphones which will have most other functions deactivated.
- Trial participants will conduct a series of daily tests through the app that will be monitored by the clinical researchers in order to guage the Prothena drug's efficacy. These tests include a rest tremor test, a walking test, and a dexterity test (among others), and the patients will also be passively monitored.
Wearable devices and mobile health apps have been all the rage in recent years, and biopharma trial researchers are by no means immune to the trend. Several companies have created health apps aimed at monitoring patients with diseases such as Parkinson's.
What's convenient about using a smartphone app is that scientists overseeing the trial can also directly contact participants who aren't complying with the testing regimen.
"In clinical trials in this area, disease disability and impairment are traditionally measured by physician assessments using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)," said Anirvan Ghosh, Head of Neuroscience Discovery for Roche Pharma Research and Development, in a statement.
"However, these are limited to the specific times that patients go for an appointment with their physicians. The app will enable continuous measurement of PD fluctuation every day and throughout the day. Ultimately, we hope the app can be used in future clinical development to enable more objective measures on response to treatment to complement doctor assessments."