Wearables in Clinical Trials – Challenges & Benefits

Wearables are electronic devices that could significantly enhance the data available for clinical trials and medical research. They facilitate the collection of longitudinal biometric data sets, providing unique insights into the real-world impacts of pharmacotherapies and treatment protocols. Moving away from traditional methods that rely on sporadic healthcare visits, wearables offer a more dynamic approach to data collection.

To support this innovative potential, pharmaceutical companies and clinical research services can take several key steps to assess the relevance of this transformation for their clinical trials and develop the necessary expertise to leverage it effectively. Indeed, companies that integrate clinical trials and digital technology expertise will be best positioned to scale, sustainably plan, and implement wearables in their R&D processes.

In this blog, we discuss wearables, their impact on the healthcare industry, and the benefits and challenges of wearables in clinical trials.

What are wearables and their role in clinical trials

Wearables are the items worn on or in the body that significantly impact the data present for researchers in clinical trials‌. As sensor technology advances, the efficiency of these devices continues to improve. They are designed to capture vast amounts of patient data, encompassing physiological, pharmacological, environmental, and behavioral aspects, enabling widespread adoption. They also allow biometric entropy, which provides distinctive insights for valid treatments.

Benefits of Wearables in Clinical Trials

Integrating wearables into clinical trials is an advanced step that promises to improve the process significantly.

  • The sponsor and patient will benefit from conducting clinical trials using wearables, which are cost-effective and timesaving.
  • Using wearable devices in more trials has shown to improve the effectiveness of the trial set. It also enhances decision-making and alertness to non-compliance when patients are not in the clinical setting.
  • Data collection from wearables provides specific opportunities for many observational studies that lead to new hypotheses about drug development and many future interventional studies that enhance patient care by providing new treatments.
  • Wearables provide metrics directly related to patient life and overall health that may not have been known.
  • This reduces the patient’s burden of spending large amounts of time in clinical trials, undergoing additional procedures, and visiting specialists, which also lowers the cost of medical care. This is vital in conditions where adverse events can have serious consequences.

Challenges of Wearables in Clinical Trials

The performance of wearables in clinical trials offers opportunities and advantages, but it also comes with some challenges, including access to raw data processing, validation and analysis of inflexible amounts of wearable data, and data security.

  • Clinical trials with wearables can be costly based on the type of device collection infrastructure and participant numbers. Monitoring patient adherence is often necessary to ensure reliable data collection.
  • The barrier to using wearables in clinical studies is the reliability of the measurements, as they are not certified as medical devices. However, not every wearable is suitable for approval for medical use.

Impact of Wearables Technology on the Healthcare Economy

The world’s wearable technology market was valued at USD 61.30 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6% from 2023 to 2030. The growth of smart wearable technology products among buyers is driving industry growth. These devices promote monitoring health by keeping track of cholesterol levels, calories, oxygen rate, etc., through sensors. Such a feature is anticipated to attract consumers as it helps them check their health, which paves the way for market growth.


Wearable devices won’t guarantee the success of drugs, but their integration with clinical trials boosts the efficiency and reliability of the drug development process. This technology has the potential to bring results to clinical trial studies. However, there is scope for improvement to ensure a safe and efficient incorporation that benefits patients, researchers and society by innovating more technological advancements and regulatory efforts that ensure the challenges of applying wearable devices for clinical trials.

Global Pharmatek is a prominent drug development services company that paves the way for the future of clinical trials, making drug development faster, smarter, and more patient-friendly. Our comprehensive support includes everything from trial design to regulatory support to data management and analysis, ensuring effective integration and optimal results.

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