mHealth Research

mHealth Research

We have been transforming the way we do research using mobile technology, big data analytics, cloud computing and biosensors. Our active pursuit of mHealth technology stems from our commitment to find meaningful ways to engage with patients, expand access to clinical trials and improve data-gathering for our research.

New technologies and social media have made it possible for patients to participate in certain types of medical research remotely, while sharing feedback or data, instantly. The data is collected virtually and without interruption to the patients’ daily life, using mobile phones, biosensors, wearables, cloud computing and more. Significantly reducing trips to a clinic would be of particular value for patients with limited mobility, the elderly or those who live in rural areas.

Patients are much more likely to stay in a study for longer if they can reliably test themselves at home rather than travelling to a local or, even worse, remote center. Cost-wise, taking travel expenses out of the equation also makes economic sense.

Julian Jenkins, VP and Head of Innovation, Performance and Technology

The immediate transfer of patient feedback through mHealth technology is also desirable for its potential to improve data quality compared to traditional methods of research and to deliver data almost instantaneously. For the first time, clinicians can gain a real-time view of how patients cope with disease and respond to treatments. These insights may accelerate delivery of new medicines that are cost-effective and patient-focused.  

Over the last three years we have applied more than 40 technologies to a range of studies. Here are examples of projects we have conducted:

  • We built an iPhone® app using Apple’s ResearchKit® platform for our Patient Rheumatoid Arthritis Data from the Real World (PARADE) study. By using the iPhone® as a health device we have been able to monitor the impact a disease has on a patient’s day-to-day life.
  • We partnered with Medidata on an award-winning project that continuously measured vital signs with mobile sensors and cloud computing technology. This project helped us evaluate the impact of wearable sensors in clinical trials.
  • We partnered with McLaren Technology Group to adapt to human trials the way this racing team captures more than a billion data points from 200+ sensors placed on each Formula 1 racer. We applied this technology to clinical trials in which we needed to monitor patients with movement disorders. We also have applied McLaren sensor and telemetry technology to our Diskus® inhaler device to allow us to measure when and how patients in clinical trials take our respiratory medicines. This e-inhaler project has led to deeper understanding of COPD and asthma.

We’re testing to see how we can use these technologies to bring patients more into the heart of our research, which has the potential to disrupt our clinical research model and ultimately how we develop new medicines.

Julian Jenkins, VP and Head of Innovation, Performance and Technology

We believe that the future of healthcare is digital and our mHealth research is leading the way.


iPhone and ResearchKit are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

Diskus is a registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies