POSSIBLE Mobile delivers ResearchKit solution for GSK.
Applying ResearchKit for Rheumatoid Arthritis
GSK wanted to build an iPhone app that uses Apple’s ResearchKit, a framework aimed at enhancing medical research by helping doctors and scientists gather data from participants’ iPhones. GSK needed a partner to help in designing, building, and deploying the app. Through several discovery and exploration meetings, POSSIBLE Mobile and GSK arrived at the idea of PARADE, an app designed to disrupt the standard and inconvenient practice of conducting medical research.
Medical Research Meets Mobility
Traditional medical studies require that patients travel to their doctor's office, which often becomes tiresome and prolongs the delivery of final results. Apple’s ResearchKit has streamlined this typical methodology; participants can now actively engage in studies directly through their iPhones.
When Rheumatoid Arthritis patients download PARADE, they are led through a series of questionnaires and surveys regarding joint pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with the disease. The app also records personalized activity data such as walking distance and general quality of life. The most insightful feature included in PARADE is the wrist test. Participants are asked to complete wrist exercises through which the phone’s motion sensors measure their flexo-extensive movement, a range of motion that significantly reduces over time in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.
While the real-time data received from PARADE provides researchers with a better understanding of the disease, participants also have access to their metrics found throughout the three-month-long study. Healthcare providers may examine this data to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition and discuss possible treatment options.
Swiping Towards Improved Patient Health
It is safe to say that the launch of PARADE was a success; we exceeded our expected enrollment of 300 participants by about 30% in just two weeks. If this were a localized study, finding that many subjects could have taken up to two years. GSK will benefit from a large quantity of data ranging from patients' subjective pain ratings to objective motion sensor feedback.
While there is no drug currently being tested with PARADE, GSK plans to use the data collected to further advance patient care. Written in a statement by GSK, “We’re not testing a medicine right now. The medicine development process starts with learning from real patients by including their insights and health goals into our research. That’s exactly the information we hope to gather about Rheumatoid Arthritis.” By incorporating Rheumatoid Arthritis research with elements of mobile portability and convenience, we’re forging the path towards the future of healthcare technology.