GSK Launches First ResearchKit Study by a Major Pharmaceutical Company

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British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline recently announced the launch of a new clinical study, Patient Rheumatoid Arthritis Data from the Real World (PARADE), which will gather medical data and patient feedback using an iOS app powered by Apple's ResearchKit. Notably, GSK is the first major pharmaceutical company to implement ResearchKit into its research, which it hopes assists in lessening "the burden of patients in clinical studies by reducing the frequency of doctor visits."

GSK PARADE app
The company noted that while it's "not testing a medicine right now," ResearchKit is helping put it on the path of a medicinal development process -- centered mainly around rheumatoid arthritis -- thanks to the insight and health goals of each patient that Apple's research framework provides. Through surveys and the sensors on an iPhone, the GSK PARADE app gathers info on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including joint pain, fatigue, and mood.

"Our goal is to engage with patients in a new way that integrates the research into their daily lives versus the traditional model that requires patients to travel to their doctors’ offices," said Rob DiCicco, Vice President of Clinical Innovation at GSK. "By making research as easy and accessible as possible for patients, we have the potential to disrupt the model for how we conduct research in the future and ultimately improve patient health."

The current goal is to track the activity and "quality of life measures" of 300 patients over a 3-month period using GSK's app. On the patient side of things, users will be able to access a dashboard which shows their own personal recordings and data from the study that they can easily share with their own healthcare providers to further investigate into more effective treatment and recovery plans.

GSK encourages anyone 21 years or older to participate in the ResearchKit-enabled trial by downloading the GSK PARADE app for free on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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53 months ago

Happy you're in better health without the meds. You're 100% right about big pharma. Reminds me of the old big pharma meme: Ain't no money curing diseases. Maintenance is where the money is. Cynical, yes. True, unfortunately also yes.

Integrative doctor... is that similar to homeopathic?

No. An integrative doctor is someone who uses all possible option in an integrative way. In my case, it meant doing significant genetic and blood testing (modern technical approach) and then using the results to address the underlying problems through alternative approaches (diet modification, supplement augmentation, yoga, acupuncture, bio feedback, meditation, etc). The basic principle is that you need to treat the entire body not just the symptoms.

In my case, the arthritis was caused by inflammation (probably true for many forms of arthritis). So figuring out the inflammatory triggers, and modifying my diet and supplements to maintain an anti-inflammatory lifestyle was the key. The genetic test also found a gene anomaly that was underlying the inflammation. When I started down this approach i had a hard time standing for more than 5 minutes. Today I am averaging about 5 miles a day (10k steps). And there are zero collateral issues (typical with arthritis medication includes liver, heart, and immune system issues).

For me it has been a 3 year journey to figure this all out with the integrative doctor. That is why I say that if these researchkit apps focused on getting more clear on the lifestyle issues, I think it could add a lot to society. I am lucky to have sufficient income and generous insurance that allowed me to take this journey. But very few are able and are relegated to maintenance drugs from mediocre doctors that really don't help.

Small disclaimer, I am not totally against Pharma. There are drugs that clearly do help in specific situations and have been a positive contribution to our society. I am mostly against the medicate first culture. I just wish we would spend more time looking at and addressing the true issues instead of medicating the symptoms and not dealing with the real issues until its too late.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
I think this is positive to a point. My mother suffers from RA, and its pretty bad for her. I have a different type of Arthritis, but understand the pain. My overall observation of going down the medical route is that the medicine tends to fix one thing but break something else. In my case, the vioxx that was prescribed ended up affecting my heart. in my mother's case, she takes tons of medication and has gotten worse not just in RA but collateral areas. What would be awesome is if they did more integrative testing to see what other influencers affect a disease like RA. Dietary, environmental, stress, exercise, etc. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals are motivated to find only drug solution.

In my case, after the heart scare, I found an integrative doctor and have had to make some radical changes around what I eat and drink, as well as my physical activity. Today, I am happy to say (but I doubt GSK is) that I do not take any prescription medication and have most of my arthritis in remission.

If these ResearchKit Apps would help in discovering which life changes would impact positively on a disease, I would be all in. But I am skeptical of where these app are headed - more drugs they can make money from, regardless of them actually helping.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

I think this is positive to a point. My mother suffers from RA, and its pretty bad for her. I have a different type of Arthritis, but understand the pain. My overall observation of going down the medical route is that the medicine tends to fix one thing but break something else. In my case, the vioxx that was prescribed ended up affecting my heart. in my mother's case, she takes tons of medication and has gotten worse not just in RA but collateral areas. What would be awesome is if they did more integrative testing to see what other influencers affect a disease like RA. Dietary, environmental, stress, exercise, etc. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals are motivated to find only drug solution.

In my case, after the heart scare, I found an integrative doctor and have had to make some radical changes around what I eat and drink, as well as my physical activity. Today, I am happy to say (but I doubt GSK is) that I do not take any prescription medication and have most of my arthritis in remission.

If these ResearchKit Apps would help in discovering which life changes would impact positively on a disease, I would be all in. But I am skeptical of where these app are headed - more drugs they can make money from, regardless of them actually helping.

Happy you're in better health without the meds. You're 100% right about big pharma. Reminds me of the old big pharma meme: Ain't no money curing diseases. Maintenance is where the money is. Cynical, yes. True, unfortunately also yes.

Integrative doctor... is that similar to homeopathic?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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