A new research effort aims to vet digital health data from wearables

Covid-19 upended the way clinical trials get done — and don’t get done. With in-person visits on hold last year, drug companies jump-started a decade-old idea to enable trial participation from home. The momentum toward virtual, decentralized trials is continuing: Many drug companies are aiming to deploy digital devices like smartwatches and connected blood pressure cuffs to streamline data collection and develop new endpoints.

But often, the evidence behind those novel digital measures is far from solid. Before investing in outfitting study participants with a suite of at-home tech, pharma companies and regulators will want to see proof that a wearable or WiFi-connected device measures what it’s supposed to.

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