Updated on 19 January 2016
Mr Motohide Nishi, VP of R&D APAC, Medidata, Japan
Singapore: Medidata Solutions is a provider of cloud computing-based solutions for clinical development process to improve study design, protocol development, trial planning and management, electronic data capture (EDC) and management of patient clinical data. In an interview with BioSpectrum Asia, Mr Motohide Nishi, VP of R&D APAC, Medidata, Japan talks about the prospects of mobile technology in healthcare delivery and challenges in building mHealth landscape in Asia.
How significant are mhealth solutions and how far have the Asian countries integrated mobile technology for healthcare delivery?
As the drug development market continues to expand globally, more clinical trials are being conducted across Asia. China alone is expected to become the world's second largest pharmaceutical market after the US by 2020, with spend projected to reach $260 billion according to the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice.
However, with this increase in activity comes increased costs and the need for additional resources. That's why leading life sciences organizations in Asia are beginning to recognize the potential new mobile technologies have to help bring novel and important medicines to patients faster, safer, and more efficiently and are embarking on the early stages of exploring these devices in clinical development. mHealth technologies have the capability to collect powerful data that can reveal what is and what isn't working in a trial, providing insight needed to make changes early, saving time, money and resources. Additionally, mobile devices help reduce the burden on those participating in studies by streamlining routine procedures, eliminating unnecessary ones, and reducing clinical trial site visits.
While the use of wearables is exploding globally, the opportunity for mHealth data to advance clinical trials seems particularly prevalent in South Korea, China and Japan.
South Korea is one of the world's most technologically advanced and digitally connected societies. Almost 80 percent of South Koreans have a smartphone, and 97.7 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds do. South Korea is already leveraging innovative technology to drive scientific discovery and has the healthcare infrastructure needed to hit the ground running (for example, the Severance Hospital in Seoul has a dedicated facility for clinical trials, a large medical tourism practice and a robotic surgery center). With South Korea's high level of digital connectedness and its rapid growth in the life sciences space (Seoul is currently the #1 city for clinical trials in the world), South Korea may soon be a driving force in the adoption of mHealth technology in drug development.