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A Valued Perspective

Acceleration of the integration of mobile health (mHealth) technologies into clinical trial operations is expected to be the catalyst for the adoption of disruptive research platforms with capabilities to overcome barriers in both clinically mature and emerging markets. While mHealth applications of smart devices, wearable biometric sensors, and telemedicine enable health monitoring, data collection, and patient communications have been around for some time. Despite this, their widespread use in clinical research should still be considered in its infancy. We continue to see the fast development of integrated mHealth platforms that have the potential to turn the traditional research model on its head – taking studies to patients rather than bringing patients into site-based studies. Powered by Big Data and connected across patients, researchers, and caregivers, emerging mHealth platforms will expand research participation, reduce costs, and integrate research with treatment in new models of personalised medicine based on real-world evidence.

The mHealth Disruption Four foundational trends are driving 21st century biomedical research:

  • Globalisation is expanding drug development into the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • Big Data is being harnessed to understand disease impacts at the population level and support evidence-based medical practice
  • Real-world evaluation is extending the continuum from traditional randomised clinical trials to new research models that assess real-world outcomes
  • Personalised medicine is advancing with targeted therapies tailored to smaller populations and the growth of patientcentric research

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David Blackman has responsibility for aligning technology strategies and innovations with PPD’s evolving business needs. Within his role, David is responsible for creating and developing differentiating business capabilities together with partners and clients to accelerate clinical trial research. He has a strong passion for the design and implementation of mobile health and digital technologies solutions within clinical research. A graduate of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, he combines more than 20 years of technological experience in development, process, and technology innovations with his commitment to implementing cutting-edge technologies as a platform to advance innovative technology solutions in clinical trials worldwide. He holds two patents and two patent applications for technology innovations.
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