Slash Costs in Clinical Trials with Your Own BYOD Calculator

By David Kiger, Chief Commercial Officer, Datacubed Health

We received such positive feedback on my last blog about the benefits of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach to patient connectivity in clinical trials that I decided to offer additional thinking on the subject. If the last article exploded technical myths, here we’ll explore something else many people haven’t fully considered: the costs savings.

Aiming for Perfect Trial Execution

Let’s start by playing out a scenario. You’re in Phase 3 of a high-profile study that your team has been working on for years. You are determined that it be perfectly executed as you move into the regulatory stage.

Let’s say your company has provisioned devices to your study subjects or caregivers the way you’ve always done it: acquiring them from a vendor, loading the software, carefully packaging each one, shipping them out, verifying delivery. Say that this phase of the study involves 500 people.

Grappling with an Unforeseen Protocol Amendment

Then midway through the trial, you learn that amendments are required to the protocol design. Given the growing prevalence of innovations like adaptive trial design, that’s not an unlikely situation.

Now what? Your IT team has to lock down the devices and recall them all to install the update or administer updates through remote device management. But of course, the IT team is not really equipped for this task; they haven’t planned for it, and if your company is like most, they are already short on resources.

Chances are quite high that every study subject will not return the device at the first request, and will have to be chased … at least once. Some of them may be traveling and off the grid, or experience limited wireless connectivity. Some may never return the device at all.

Needless to say, you have a full-blown logistical headache on your hands. Now factor in the costs of packaging and freight both for return and replacement, and substantial labor costs for the recall and update – not to mention the original expense of provisioning.

Avoiding Risk with the BYOD Alternative

What a monumental hassle. But it’s one that could have been completely avoided if the subjects or caregivers had been able to use their own familiar smartphone or tablet to enter health-outcome data. With the BYOD alternative, you simply provide your subjects with a user-friendly app at the outset. In the event of a protocol change, the app can simply be updated through electronic transmission, then deleted at the end of the trial.

Since it’s their own device, a study subject is far more likely to keep it close at hand and make sure it’s charged, which results in better response and easier and more streamlined communications on your end. And it’s simply logical that allowing participants to use their own devices can boost retention and compliance.

And even if this worst-case never happens, you’re still incurring unnecessary costs with the traditional method of provisioning devices: purchase, packaging, freight, labor costs.

Joining a Growing Trend

Indeed, the dramatic costs savings, along with improvements in patient retention, data integrity, and compliance, are spurring growing adoption of the BYOD approach. In fact, an estimated 20% of clinical trials will be run using BYOD in 2019. Datacubed Health is currently supporting several sponsors in moving their BYOD studies from either post-marketing research or large Phase 2 and Phase 3 pivotal studies. These sponsors will be able to realize the promise of continuous data in real-world evidence to provide a complete view of the patient’s interaction with the treatment.

There is no question that this is the future, just as digital technologies are enabling the industry to improve efficiencies in countless other ways. And let me add a parting thought: as the entire healthcare universe moves toward patient-centricity, using BYOD in your trials can help you take an important step in that direction. Join the evolution!

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Datacubed Health has created a calculator to help you with cost comparisons for traditional provisioning of devices vs. a BYOD approach. Please click here to request a BYOD calculator to see what type of savings your team can realize at :  https://www.datacubed.com/contact-us/  

Send questions: david@datacubed.com

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