Supplementary Material for: A Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility of Collecting and Transmitting Clinical Trial Data with Mobile Technologies

Background: The use of mobile technologies for data capture and transmission has the potential to streamline clinical trials, but researchers lack methods for collecting, processing, and interpreting data from these tools. Objectives: To assess the performance of a technical platform for collecting and transmitting data from six mobile technologies in the clinic and at home, to apply methods for comparing them to clinical standard devices, and to measure their usability, including how willing subjects were to use them on a regular basis. Methods: In part 1 of the study, conducted over 3 weeks in the clinic, we tested two device pairs (mobile vs. clinical standard blood pressure monitor and mobile vs. clinical standard spirometer) on 25 healthy volunteers. In part 2 of the study, conducted over 3 days both in the clinic and at home, we tested the same two device pairs as in part 1, plus four additional pairs (mobile vs. clinical standard pulse oximeter, glucose meter, weight scale, and activity monitor), on 22 healthy volunteers. Results: Data collection reliability was 98.1% in part 1 of the study and 95.8% in part 2 (the percentages exclude the wearable activity monitor, which collects data continuously). In part 1, 20 of 1,049 overall expected measurements were missing (1.9%), and in part 2, 45 of 1,083 were missing (4.2%). The most common reason for missing data was a single malfunctioning spirometer (13 of 20 total missed readings) in part 1, and that the subject did not take the measurement (22 of 45 total missed readings) in part 2. Also in part 2, a higher proportion of at-home measurements than in-clinic readings were missing (12.6 vs. 2.7%). The data from this experimental study were unable to establish repeatability or agreement for every mobile technology; only the pulse oximeter demonstrated repeatability, and only the weight scale demonstrated agreement with the clinical standard device. Most mobile technologies received high “willingness to use” ratings from the patients on the questionnaires. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the wireless data transmission and processing platform was dependable. It also identified three critical areas of study for advancing the use of mobile technologies in clinical research: (1) if a mobile technology captures more than one type of endpoint (such as blood pressure and pulse), repeatability and agreement may need to be established for each endpoint to be included in a clinical trial; (2) researchers need to develop criteria for excluding invalid device readings (to be identified by algorithms in real time) for the population studied using ranges based on accumulated subject data and established norms; and (3) careful examination of a mobile technology’s performance (reliability, repeatability, and agreement with accepted reference devices) during pilot testing is essential, even for medical devices approved by regulators.