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ObvioHealth is a digital clinical trial platform that accompanies participants through every step
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco speak with Ivan Jarry, CEO of ObvioHealth, a digital clinical trial platform that accompanies participants through every step of the journey, from enrollment to helping them complete tasks, and also validating data capture.
Founded in 2017, ObvioHealth works with sponsors to design, run, analyze and deliver trials. Its platform includes tools for recruitment and prescreening, while also overseeing the shipment and return of supplies and/or devices to and from the patient's home. It also handles participant payments, while also helping participants to capture and record their data in order to increase compliance; coordinates doctor, lab and imaging appointments, as well as home, site, or telehealth visits; and it provides real time monitoring and reporting.
The company recently announced a $31 million round of financing led by Dedalus Group and Novotech, along with SPRIM Global Investments, AT Capital Group, and other existing investors.
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- The idea behind ObvioHealth was to automate the entire process of clinical studies, from the recruitment to the publication of the study report, so it was built as an end-to-end solution. It includes an app so clients push questionnaires, alerts, and reminders to participants, and also to integrate with their daily health and take measurements directly from the app.
- ObvioHealth was started five years ago, long before COVID forced the clinical trial space to go digital, and before the term "decentralized clinical trial" became popular. The aim was to digitize simple studies, with the realization that participants didn't need to go to a doctor to fill out a paper questionnaire, which Jarry considered a waste of time and money.
- In the past 18 months, the company saw 3 to 5x acceleration in terms of revenue and sales year-over-year thanks to COVID, and the number of decentralized trials has exploded in that time.
- It's taking time to convince the larger pharma companies to move to digital clinical trials, but biotech, consumer health, and medical device companies, which are smaller and faster to innovate, are already running fully decentralized trials.
- There are a lot of companies now in the decentralized trial space, but many of them were created just before COVID or during the pandemic, and they're trying to address the large pharma market. A lot of do complex studies, they do hybrid studies, and they require a nurse to go to people's homes to do measurement. ObvioHealth was designed from the beginning to be flexible, quick to deploy, and cost effective, but it was also designed for simpler studies that don't require nurses to go homes or to connect with labs or other elements which come from the traditional clinical study model.
- The trials that have large populations, those with long term follow ups, or the trials that have a very small population in the rare disease, are usually a good fit for fully virtual trials. In the case of rare diseases, you don't have to fly patients to sites; in large populations it's usually hard to recruit because you're limited by the capacity of the site; and long term follow ups are difficult because people move and won't be close to sites. If you go virtual then you can follow them wherever they go.
- While the company thought that doing everything digitally would increase compliance, it's not the case, so ObvioHealth has a team who are alerted by the system if someone isn't complying. Having participants know they have a human that they can reach out to has done a lot to increase compliance rates.
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(Update: this article previous indicated that ObvioHealth was based in Singapore, when it is based in the United States, and that it was founded in 2015, rather than 2017)
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