Dpharm Disruptive Innovations 2017 in Review

Written by Jessi Lanuza, Associate Director, Business Development

Can you say, “Welcome to the wide, wonderful world of wearables”, three times fast?

Disruptive Innovations landed in Boston last week, once again bringing together Innovation Teams and Market Disruptors to listen, learn and share how they are looking to leap forward in clinical trials.

Wearables continued to be a topic of discussion throughout the two day conference. Whereas in the past, wearables were introduced as a possibility, this year established sponsors were showing off successful proof of concepts and new tech vendors were bringing in gadgets that went well beyond using a Fitbit to track steps.

A study team from Pfizer exhibited and shared their learnings from their Blue Sky project in Parkinson’s Disease using wearables and sensors to more accurately, and continuously, monitor disease state, rather than the traditional episodic monitoring during a patient’s doctor visit. Pfizer hopes to use these technologies to speed clinical trials, and therefore speed access to new therapies in the marketplace. Another large organization, Philips, a trusted name in healthcare technology, was on hand to open the discussion of bringing their longstanding healthcare wearable technologies into clinical trials. While their products have been used in healthcare for years, they believe that they are now ready to use those technologies to answer clinical research questions.

There were also many new companies exhibiting. Looking to expand the world of wearables, Hexoskin brought in their body metric monitoring clothing. Their technology is currently being used by athletes to prepare for competition and first responders to monitor stress for preventive health. Tracking heart rate, breathing and sleep, Hexoskin sees a natural progression to the use of its products in clinical trials and has already participated in several cardiac studies.

And, of course, David Connelly and I, Jessi Lanuza, were on hand to show sponsors how to manage all that wonderful data that these devices are bringing in. Like Pfizer, Cmed would like to disrupt the life science industry by speeding the delivery of clinical trials. Shorter trial timelines would not only bring therapies to the market faster but they would also decrease the cost of development of those therapies, and therefore reduce the cost of drugs to patients. Cmed recognizes there are many steps required to arrive at shorter trial timelines but feel we can be a part of the revolution by giving sponsors immediate access to clean data and facilitating faster decisions. The Disruptive Innovations conference has grown exponentially over the past few years, but the original driving purpose remains, with sponsors and vendors coming together to discuss industry goals and how to make those goals a reality. I am excited to see what next year brings!