Photo by Wilfred Iven from stocksnap.io
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Apple has a knack for making technology that, to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, feels a bit magical. It turns out that’s the sort of technology people strongly prefer to use. As a result, Apple has built a loyal consumer following, suggesting that commitment to a delightful technology experience is simply good business. Professionals in all industries have taken note of Apple’s success, and clinical research professionals are no exception.
I and others working in clinical innovation have looked to Apple for inspiration on how we might use technology to improve the patient experience. How can we make research participation more delightful and less frustrating? How can we distill a very complex process into an experience that feels very simple for research participants? How can we make clinical research more…Apple-like? Now we won’t have to look much further for potential answers. Apple itself is seeking to answer these questions.
Apple recently announced ResearchKit, creating waves far beyond the clinical research community. ResearchKit is an open-source framework that provides researchers and application developers with a platform to build mobile study apps. Apple’s announcement was accompanied by the release of five ResearchKit-built apps. Because the ResearchKit framework integrates multiple capabilities into one platform, researchers have a single destination to conduct research. And patients have a single destination to participate in research, simply by downloading any chosen study app onto their mobile device.
Click the image to view an infographic about the Lilly COI API
Click to enlarge the infographic.
As the Internet continues to mature and more people access the web through desktop and mobile apps, the need for APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) has never been more pressing. APIs provide a consistent, easy-to-use way for developers to access data that can be built into mobile apps or websites.
Since 2005, ProgrammableWeb has cataloged the world’s APIs and has become the de facto journal of the API economy. Today there are more than 12,000 APIs listed in the ProgrammableWeb directory, but only 2.07% of those APIs are health-related. Clinical research-related APIs are hardly present at all, accounting for just 0.07% of the APIs listed on ProgrammableWeb.
The Lilly COI API is at the center of our efforts to make it easier for people to find clinical trials that are right for them or their loved ones. The API was created to make publicly-available clinical trial information easier for people to understand and easier for developers to work with.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.niknightswbc.btck.co.uk/ParalympicsLondon2012%5B/caption%5D
Do you donate blood? Or perhaps you’re an organ donor. If so, you see the value in contributing – literally, a part of yourself – to the greater good. In addition, you may see the potential direct benefit for you or those you care for. Blood and organ donations are now common practice, and it’s easy to see that their value is irrefutable.
What if we extended this concept to data about diseases. Patient registries are ways to bring data together to be used to understand disease, identify clinical trial participants, and, potentially provide statistical power to help develop new disease treatments.