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Novartis launches remote clinical trial app

FocalView will allow patients to participate in ophthalmology trials

Novartis

In a bid to step up its digital health game, pharma giant Novartis has launched a remote clinical trial app, which is said to have been designed to ‘modernise’ ophthalmic clinical trials for improved patient participation.

FocalView, a ‘first-of-its-kind’ app made with Apple’s digital platform ResearchKit, allows researchers to track disease progression by collecting real-time, self-reported data directly from consenting patients.

Aiming to enable more sensitive trial endpoints and collect more accurate patient-reported outcomes, Novartis hopes the app may reduce barriers to participation, which will lead to a more nuanced understanding of ophthalmic diseases and potentially accelerate the development of novel treatments.

According to the Swiss pharma group, data captured in traditional ophthalmic clinical trials can be ‘inflexible’ and ‘infrequent’, resulting in challenges for researchers to monitor patients’ disease activity and capture real-world patient experiences.

Bertrand Bodson, chief digital officer for Novartis, said: “Optimising digital technology in research and development, particularly in ophthalmic disease, could have a marked impact on the quality of the data we capture.

“We believe apps like FocalView, which we’ve made freely available to the research community on an open-source platform, can help accelerate the development of treatments and bring them to patients who need them most.”

FocalView will be tested in a prospective, non-interventional study to evaluate the app’s efficacy and usability in assessing visual function.

In the next phase, the app - which is available for download from the App Store in the US - will be validated against traditional visual testing that takes place within conventional clinical settings.

Novartis has confirmed that it will plan to launch in additional markets in the future.

Article by
Gemma Jones

27th April 2018

From: Research

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