Wearable Health Tech devices clearly hold the potential to lower healthcare costs and improve outcomes through early detection and more effective monitoring of treatment. However, there’s another area that could also yield enormous financial benefits from this new technology. A recent article in Venture Beat explores the impact of wearables on the development of new drugs.
As the article points one, one avenue to savings is through the use of Big Data analytics. By combining patient data from wearables with other information such as genetic profiles, researchers may be able to identify patterns sooner, correlating either positive or negative results with other factors that could help them target the drug’s application more effectively. The other approach is to have much more data on test subjects through around-the-clock monitoring. This not only gives researchers a much richer data set to evaluate the drug, but it also reduces the need for test subjects to come in for clinic visits. This could improve compliance with the test protocols, and reduce the expense associated with test subjects dropping out.
According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the average cost of bringing a new drug through to FDA approval is $2.5 billion. This includes the overhead costs of all the drugs that start development but don’t make it to approval. Even a small reduction in the cost of clinical trials could have a big impact on the cost of prescription drugs, which could have far-reaching benefits for everyone.