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Quintiles Contributes Open Source Code to ResearchKit

 Trending Now: Enhancements enable patient engagement tools for ResearchKit-based apps.

Quintiles has contributed enhancements to the ResearchKit framework that provide developers with extensions that support additional capabilities, which, in turn, will allow them to create more sophisticated application experiences. Quintiles plans to use these enhancements to develop patient engagement tools for ResearchKit-based apps. Quintiles’ technology and digital health experts are actively integrating and further enhancing ResearchKit as a tool for its customers’ research studies to deliver a superior patient and caregiver experience.

PV0116_RichardThomas“We believe Quintiles’ contribution of these enhancements is a significant advancement within the clinical research industry,” says Quintiles President of Technology and Solutions Richard Thomas. “They will not only improve the apps Quintiles develops for its own use, but can enhance all apps developed using ResearchKit.”

BI’s #cough Campaign For World COPD Day

According to results posted on Boehringer Ingelheim UK’s blog, its World COPD day Twitter campaign was a success. The blog cites that 270 individual accounts signed up through the crowd-rallying platform Thunderclap — 20 more than the company’s goal of 250. BI reports that at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 18, Thunderclap sent out an approved Tweet on the timelines of the 270 users, which created a huge spike in social media activity for #cough.

PV0116_CoughHowever, several industry marketing experts believe BI’s success is exaggerated, as the initial tweet from the company was only retweeted 19 times and favorited by only six twitter account holders. BI communications director Duncan Cantor responded to doubters with this on the blog:  “Each time we try a new activity like this, we do it to see what works, and try to learn how to improve.”

BI UK’s respiratory team worked in conjunction with PR agency WE Consulting to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of COPD by attempting to “make Twitter #cough.” When the tweets that included #cough were measured across a time frame, they graphically simulated the sound wave of a cough. The graph showed an upturn from more than 1,300 tweets that were sent including the cough hashtag, and people clicking on links to an infographic and to the BLF COPD website.

UNICEF’s Wearables for Good Challenge Yields Practical Solutions

PV0116_WearablesThis year’s UNICEF’s Wearables for Good Challenge winners addressed some very practical concerns regarding child immunization records and hand washing techniques in children. A top honor went to the digital necklace Khushi baby, which stores two years of personal immunization records for children. By making use of near-field communications (NFC), Khushi baby transmits and receives information through a smartphone. The data stored in the necklace can be synced to cloud technology, which then allows it to be used by health officials who can see relevant information displayed on a dashboard.

The second winner, a wearable soap called SoaPen, is a soap-crayon that encourages the habit of hand washing among school children, particularly between the ages of 3 and 6. Capitalizing upon children’s love of drawing (especially on themselves), the soap can actually be used as a marker for the skin, allowing parents or teachers to “clearly draw out critical cleaning areas on the child’s hand.”

And of course, to get the marks to disappear, the child must enthusiastically engage in hand washing — awaiting the visually clear reward of unmarked hands.

As a result of these two products’ success, each will receive a $15,000 prize and incubation as well as mentoring from UNICEF, ARM, and Frog.

35-Year Old Orange Book Goes Mobile

PV0116_OrangeBookFDA and CDER have launched a mobile application to put timely information about generic drugs in the hands of those using smartphones and tablets. This move reflects the FDA’s commitment to keep up with the latest technologies, developing effective means for the public to access important and useful information about generic drugs.

The new app makes it easy and convenient to view The Orange Book, or The Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations list.

The Orange Book Express mobile app provides users with a mobile-friendly way to identify drug products approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness by the agency, as well as information about patents and exclusivity. The app will differ from the full Web version in that the ability to filter results and search for text within results will be unavailable via data download.

Only One-Third of Doctors Recommend Mobile Apps

Market research agency Cello Health Insight’s second annual Digital Health Debate report reveals that despite embracing digital technology themselves, only 36% of doctors are likely to recommend a mobile health app to patients in the future, noting that the biggest barrier being the fact that not all patients have smartphones and therefore there is a need for a universal system.

“Arguably wearable devices offer huge potential to individual health monitoring and management,” says Paul Mannu, director at Cello Health Insight. “Yet despite the fact that wearable devices can track and record numerous areas of an individual’s health — from heart rate to weight loss, exercise frequency and intensity to glucose levels — it is mobile health apps where the medical profession sees more opportunity to deliver better health outcomes in the near future.” (PV)

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