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Digital Health Technologies in Pediatric Trials

Abstract

Background

Advances in the miniaturization of sensors and other technologies provide opportunities to collect physiological and/or functional data directly from patients participating in clinical trials. The use of such technologies in children is particularly promising. Objective, quantifiable measurements made by these technologies, often on a continuous or frequent basis, may provide more robust data than the episodic reports from caregivers that are used in traditional pediatric trials.

Methods

We reviewed the pros and cons of these technologies for use in a variety of pediatric diseases, including seizure and neuromuscular disorders, cardiorespiratory diseases, and metabolic disorders.

Results

Correlation between sensor measurements and patient observations or traditional clinical measurements varied depending on the disease being evaluated. There was a notable dearth of reports on the use of digital health technology in pediatric patients. Given the range of sensors and measurements that can be made by DHTs, selection of the design, metrics and types of sensors best suited to disease evaluation presents challenges for adoption of these technologies in clinical trials.

Conclusion

Traditional measurements of drug effects are often deficient, particularly in the evaluation of infants and young children. The opportunity to make objective, frequent measurements may increase our power to detect and quantify responses to therapy in these populations. Further research and evaluation are needed to realize the full scientific potential of remote monitoring in pediatric clinical trials.

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Correspondence to Leonard Sacks.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are not intended to reflect the position of the Food and Drug Administration.

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Cite this article

Sacks, L., Kunkoski, E. & Noone, M. Digital Health Technologies in Pediatric Trials. Ther Innov Regul Sci 56, 929–933 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43441-021-00374-w

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43441-021-00374-w

Keywords

  • Pediatric
  • Digital health technology
  • Wearable
  • Mobile technology
  • Drug development
  • FDA
  • Regulatory