My Expressions

Date : 1 March 2021

  • Young Voice
  • ARUN Iyer

The past year was a challenging year for the entire world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries continue to cope with this challenge. The pandemic established a couple of new-normals across the globe. The first being remote work and second was ecommerce. These new normal resulted people working from their homes along with goods and services delivered at their doorstep. Another key aspect that emerged during the pandemic times is the importance of technology in daily life. It helped people to stay connected and continue to work.

In this new normal, there is a heavy use of technology to remotely manage public. “Telehealth” as it is often referred to is delivery of health care services to patients and healthcare providers separated by distance. Through the use of latest digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML), Smart applications (Smart Apps), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT) one can create a strong backbone for Telehealth.

Areas around patient diagnosis, patient monitoring and drug administering can be remotely managed through these digital technologies. Let us look at how this can be achieved through each of these technologies.

Use of AI/ML/Smart apps:

We can have patients use smart applications running on their smart devices to answer questions that help to diagnose the patient’s condition and help diagnosis. In some cases, the AI/ML program can automatically prescribe medication depending on the data collected and analyzed.

Use of AR/VR/IoT/Sensors:

Both patients and healthcare provider can wear their VR headsets. The sensors which are in-built measure the heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and provide information to healthcare provider real time and remotely. Based on the readings, the healthcare provider can take an informed decision.

Use of IoT/Sensors:

Having sensors connected to multiple home appliances (e.g. cooking range, Television, Music system, air conditioners, gym equipment) can help to collect data around patient’s lifestyle. This data can be used by the healthcare provider to identify behavior pattern and take an informed decision

The other important aspect which needs more investment is around interoperability between these different technology areas so that patient data can be easily shared across multiple platforms without compromising data privacy. Creation of digital health hub under the ownership of WHO (World Health Organization) would help the organization to monitor public health across the globe real time and even prevent pandemics.
With these technologies maturing, there is a great opportunity ahead of us to improve public health

Telehealth is the “delivery of health care services, where patients and providers are separated by distance. Telehealth uses ICT for the exchange of information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health professionals. Telehealth can contribute to achieving universal health coverage by improving access for patients to quality, cost-efective, health services wherever they may be. It is particularly valuable for those in remote areas, vulnerable groups and ageing populations. ”

Considering that the average cost of developing and bringing a novel pharmaceutical agent to market comes in around $2.6 billion, and the time invested into a signal project can total up to 12 years, pharmaceutical companies –are increasingly looking for ways to lower costs and maximize return on their investment.

Remote clinical trials are a relatively new method of collecting safety and efficacy data from human trial participants. These trials take full advantage of the omnipresent technology and online social engagement that are a part of its participants’ lives, by using electronic versions of all trial processes including recruitment, informed consent, patient counselling, and data collection. Such trials keep patient at the center of their conduct.

In our slides, we plan to cover the following aspects:

1. Conventional ways of conducting clinical trial: In a conventional clinical trial, the patients are required to visit a clinical trial site to enroll in a trial, receive investigational drug, and provide reading to Trial investigator.
2. Conduct of remote trial: Unlike site-based clinical trials, which require frequent visits to a designated research facility, remote clinical trials are based from the patient’s home so those with mobility issues – such as the elderly – or patients who live in rural areas, are also able to participate in the trial.
3. Case Study – look at 2 real life case studies
4. Challenges of remote trial: Virtual clinical trials also come along with patient concerns over sending large amounts of sensitive health data over the internet. This obstacle can also effect patient recruitment and retention of trial participants over the course of the study.
5. Future of Remote trial: The future of such remote trial in the wake of emerging technologies and spread of internet.

6. Conclusion: Remote trial summary of what works in favor of the trial and patient. And what are the shortcomings /opportunity of improvement.

7. Backup: covers topics such as Mobility, remote patient monitoring, IRT,

Respect for patients, Beneficence and Justice.




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