The surge in the digitalization of communications over the past ten years is not only shaping our day-to-day lives but is also seeping through to scientific methodology such as clinical outcome assessment (COA) data collection methods in clinical trial research. COA tools are used to measure symptoms, health status, or impacts of a disease or condition on functioning. A COA can be a standardized measure with multiple items or domains, or an individual item. COAs include patient-reported outcomes (PROs), clinician-reported outcomes (ClinROs), observer-reported outcomes (ObsROs), and performance-based outcomes (PerfOs) measures.
Adoption of electronic COAs (eCOAs) for clinical trial data collection is happening at a faster rate than ever before and many pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations (hospitals, clinics, etc.) are now switching efforts to move away from paper data collection methods. The types of COAs available for use is getting more varied with electronic modalities such as smartphones, tablets, wearables, interactive voice response systems (IVRS), web-based software, and device apps like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Currently, the most popular modalities are smartphone, BYOD, web, and tablet, while IVRS use is on the decline. It is projected that in the next five years alone eCOA revenue will grow by almost 20% – with the market reaching $160 billion by 2027.