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International Clinical Trials

Are You Mobile?

Over the past five years, there has been an explosion of IT in the healthcare sector. One facet of this boom is mobile health (mHealth), which is defined as any patient health information accessed using mobile technology – such as a smartphone, tablet or any other wireless device. The industry is quickly learning how to deploy this relatively new medium to deal with difficulties and improve workflows for doctors and patients alike.

The growing utilisation of mobiles is inevitable. Current estimates show that there are 3.8 billion mobile device owners, which is a penetration rate of 51% globally – though there are obviously differences from country to country. In Spain, for instance, 87% of the population possesses a mobile device, while only 52% of people living in India own one.

This huge expansion of mobiles into the market has also occurred with alarming speed. The mobile’s share of global web traffic in 2009 was less than 1%. Over the course of 6-7 years, that number has erupted to almost 40% of all web traffic for 2016. Those numbers are hard to ignore.

The prevalence and use of mobile technology has caused a recent flood of new mHealth apps, with more than 165,000 available online (1). For us, the question is how and when do we incorporate mobile devices into a clinical trial?

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As Executive Director, Nancy Mulligan leads the team at UBC’s Patient and Physician Services and manages strategy, business planning and health technology solutions that support patients in the commercial or clinical setting. She has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with expertise in patient and doctor recruitment.

As Senior Web Designer for UBC’s Patient and Physician Services, Patrick Prugh is responsible for designing and developing patient recruitment and retention websites. He has 15 years of experience working in multimedia and creative services, and has won multiple awards for his work – including an ADDY award in 2008 and a POLLIE award in 2010.

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Nancy Mulligan
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Patrick Prugh
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