ICON Pilots New App for Aging Research in Connected Health Study


Marie McCarthy, MSc, MBA, Director Product Innovation

ARCH, the Centre for Applied Research for Connected Health (www.arch.ie), today announced the launch of a collaborative study to assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely within a care home environment.

The findings from this connected health study could enhance the design of future clinical trials to make them more patient-centric, more engaging and more convenient for those who participate in them. Researchers will also assess if the remote trial places additional burden on care home staff and patients.

ARCH is undertaking this research study, called REACHES (remote assessment of older people in a care home setting), in collaboration with ICON, Kinesis Health Technologies,  and Big Cloud Analytics and supported by Dublin-based Physiotherapy Clinic, Fit for Life.

Clinical trials traditionally take place in a hospital setting, which often restricts participation from patients with limited mobility and independence due to problematic logistics and limited travel ability.

An alternative approach is to move the clinical trial beyond the confines of the hospital. Enabling this ‘place-shifting’ may result in wider participation and engagement in clinical trials.

Led by a team of ARCH researchers, this study will assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely in a care home, Mount Hybla Private, in Castleknock, Dublin, using a selection of mobile and wearable solutions provided by the collaborating companies.

As part of this study, ICON is collecting patient reported outcomes data using one component of a new mobile app aimed at delivering standardised site-based assessments in aging research studies.  The app, developed in collaboration with mProve Health (Arlington, VA), uses Apple ResearchKit to deliver a number of cognitive tests of memory, attention and processing speed, and an electronic version of the “Age-Related Muscle Loss Questionnaire (ARMLQ)”.

The app is intended to be used on iPads as part of supervised in-clinic assessment of patients, and enables sites to collect, store and export their data locally for the purposes of their own research, without the need to share data in the cloud.  ICON and mProve Health intend to launch this app in the iTunes App Store later this year, following usage experience gained in this study.  This study will also serve to assess the suitability of the ARMLQ for patient self-completion and its applicability to the assessment of the impact of muscle loss within patient groups that are not independently living.