Mitigating the Risk of Mobile Device Usage in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are long, costly, and generally a huge undertaking for companies. Mobile devices can change that – they enable patients to participate remotely, saving money and time. That being said, mobile devices present some risks. Those risks can be mitigated, though. Read on to learn the risks of using mobile devices during clinical trials and how to mitigate them.

Risk 1: Cybercrime

It seems like every day, you read or hear of another news story of a company that’s been hacked and had tons of valuable data stolen. No one wants to join their ranks. And mobile devices are frequent targets of breaches.

The risk of stolen data during a clinical trial might seem like it’s too great for your firm to take. However, you don’t have to give up on the cost and time saving benefits mobile devices can bring.

Security software for mobile devices as well as strongly enforced usage policies protects unauthorized parties from accessing and stealing valuable information. Some devices have built-in security features that make them more suitable for enterprise use.

Risk 2: Regulatory Compliance

Complying with the myriad government regulations that exist adds an additional burden to the cost and effort of running a clinical trial. Many companies that run clinical trials have been leery of implementing mobile technologies during clinical trials for fear that regulators will create problems that could either stall or shut down the tests.

Again, concerns about regulatory compliance are no reason to shy away from the use of mobile devices during clinical trials. Mobile technology in general is a new field, and the use of mobile devices in clinical fields is an even more recent development.

To ensure that you remain compliant with regulations and utilize cutting-edge technology, talk to the FDA about the use of mobile devices. The agency will appreciate your proactive stance, and you won’t have to worry about penalties for not meeting regulations.

Risk 3: Not Knowing What’s the Best Type of Mobile Technology to Use

The term “mobile technology” is fairly broad. It refers to tablets, smartphones, wearable technologies, and apps. Within those categories, there’s even greater diversity: there are a number of platforms, operating systems, and languages.

Companies seeking to launch clinical trials are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which mobile technology to utilize in clinical trials, and that can create a challenge. While your firm might have ruled out certain kinds of technology (such as wearable devices), there are so many others from which to choose. Are you going to provide patients with their own mobile devices if they don’t already have one? And which kind of mobile device will it be? What kind of platform or operating system will it be? And if you decide to use an app, will it be meant for Apple or Google devices?

Spend some time researching the correct device or app language. Your goals are usability, reliability, and security – it’s just a matter of selecting the right tools to achieve them.

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