Developing Digital Tools for Remote Clinical Research: How to Evaluate the Validity and Practicality of Active Assessments in Field Settings

Jennifer Ferrar*, Gareth J Griffith, Caroline Skirrow, Nathan Cashdollar, Nick Taptiklis, James Dobson, Fiona Cree, Francesca K Cormack, Jennifer H Barnett, Marcus R Munafò

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

The ability of remote research tools to collect granular, high-frequency data on symptoms and digital biomarkers is an important strength because it circumvents many limitations of traditional clinical trials and improves the ability to capture clinically relevant data. This approach allows researchers to capture more robust baselines and derive novel phenotypes for improved precision in diagnosis and accuracy in outcomes. The process for developing these tools however is complex because data need to be collected at a frequency that is meaningful but not burdensome for the participant or patient. Furthermore, traditional techniques, which rely on fixed conditions to validate assessments, may be inappropriate for validating tools that are designed to capture data under flexible conditions. This paper discusses the process for determining whether a digital assessment is suitable for remote research and offers suggestions on how to validate these novel tools.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26004
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MRM provides consultancy to Cambridge Cognition Ltd and is a codirector of Jericoe Ltd, which produces software for the assessment and modification of emotion recognition. JF’s post at the University of Bristol is funded by Cambridge Cognition Ltd. CS, NC, NT, JD, FC, and FKC are employees of Cambridge Cognition Ltd. JHB is an employee and shareholder of Cambridge Cognition Ltd.

Publisher Copyright:
©Jennifer Ferrar, Gareth J Griffith, Caroline Skirrow, Nathan Cashdollar, Nick Taptiklis, James Dobson, Fiona Cree, Francesca K Cormack, Jennifer H Barnett, Marcus R Munafò.

Keywords

  • digital asssessment
  • remote research
  • measurement validity
  • clinical outcomes (1)
  • ecological momentary assessment
  • mobile phone (915)

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