The continuous data recording of wearable Health Tech devices can be a valuable feature in discovering new connections between lifestyle and health, creating Big Data sets that can be mined for new information. This can be especially effective in clinical trials of new drugs and other treatments, but this requires more rigor than for your average fitness band user who tracks his or her gym workouts. One clinical trial software company, Medidata Solutions, has taken steps to incorporate wearable data in research studies.

An article in Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry reports that wearables have figured in a recent study conducted by Medidata. Their clients were concerned about the cost and complexity of using wearables in clinical trials, so the company decided to run their own demonstration project involving 20 overweight diabetic patients over an eight week period. The results showed that the subjects were compliant wearing fitness trackers and more than half of them lost weight during the study. The company now is working to incorporate wearable Health Tech devices in other clinical trials for clients around the world.

One of the important aspect’s of Medidata’s use of this data is that it does not just collect it from the wearable devices. Their system helps keep the information secure as it is transmitted to the company’s computers, and that it is carefully audited before it is allowed to be added to the rest of the clinical trial data. This attention to security and accuracy is essential if the data collected is to be meaningful, and it will take the extra effort by companies like Medidata to make wearables an important part of medical research in the future.