Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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10 Clinical OMICs March/April 2019 T here is no doubt the age of wearable monitors is upon us. Sales of physical activ- ity monitors have increased dramatically from 15 million in 2014 to 65 million in 2017, according to A 2017 study by Juniper Research estimates that the use of fitness trackers will double by 2021. Another 2017 study, this one by Researchscape, found that 51 percent of Americans reported using fitness trackers at least once a day. It is no surprise then that clinical researchers are eager to take advan- tage of this potential treasure trove of data. "The use of wearable devices in clinical trials is turning the corner from an exciting, but untested, idea to an established tool in researchers' kits," said Adam Pellegrini, general manager and senior vice president at Fitbit Health Solutions. Pellegrini cites the inclusion of Fitbit in more than 675 peer-reviewed publications. The popularity of Fitbit products and other wearables likely assures participant compliance. The challenges for researchers looking to harness this data, however, are manifold: managing the large sets of data generated by wearables, keep- ing pace with wearable device innovations, validating the accuracy of devices used in studies (especially clinical trials aimed at FDA-approval), and devising ways to translate clinical research into easily-digested results physicians can use to improve outcomes. Researchers working with digital biomarker data every day say the challenges pale in comparison to their potential power to transform everything from better chronic disease man- agement to the improved probability of successfully shepherding a drug candidate through clinical trials. Fitbits for All of Us Before researchers can fully realize the power of these data, they must tackle the most basic one—discovering which biomarkers generated by wear- ables are the most informative. In January, researchers with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) All of Us trial announced the Fitbit Bring-Your-Own-Device Project. The goal of the trial is to realize the potential of personalized medicine by finding correlates between genetics and a variety of health measures. So far, Camille Mojica Rey, Ph.D Contributing Editor Digital Biomarkers Are Transforming Research, Promising a Revolution in Healthcare Wearable Data Revolution exdez / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

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