Novartis has launched its FocalView app, an ophthalmic digital research platform created with Apple’s ResearchKit.
The app aims to allow researchers to track disease progression by collecting real-time, self-reported data directly from consenting patients. By adapting the design of clinical trials to suit the daily routine of patients, the app may reduce barriers to participation, leading to a more nuanced understanding of ophthalmic diseases and potentially accelerating the development of novel treatments.
Data capture in traditional ophthalmic clinical trials can be inflexible and infrequent, leading to increased difficulties for researchers to monitor patients’ disease activity and capture real-world patient experiences. The app will therefore aim to support patients complete various assessments, gain vital feedback on their visual functions, including any changes over time. At the same time, the app could provide researchers with a greater volume of real-world, patient-reported data, creating more flexible and accessible clinical trial designs.
FocalView will be tested in a prospective, non-interventional study to evaluate the app’s efficacy and usability in assessing visual function. These measurements include visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. Researchers will in turn assess ease of use, level of enrollment and the ability to obtain important documentation for future clinical trial research, such as informed consent.
In the next phase, the app will be validated against traditional visual testing that takes place within conventional clinical settings.