Remote clinical study Heartline well positioned to continue with minimal disruptions amid COVID-19

There has been an overall increase in clinical trials that have pushed back their estimated start dates since the beginning of January 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, remote studies such as Heartline may have a significant advantage as patients can continue to enroll and participate from their homes. As such, the Heartline trial will likely continue with minimal disruptions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Kajal Jaddoo, MSc, Associate Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Across various indications, clinical trials are increasingly expected to experience delays as investigators and hospitals, which are used as clinical trial sites, are inundated with COVID-19 patients. With fewer trial sites and investigators available to run the trials, clinical trials for certain indications will be deprioritized. Also, patients involved in these studies may soon be urged not to visit hospitals for infusions or other appointments due to the pandemic.”

Amid trial delays caused by COVID-19 across indications, Apple and Johnson & Johnson’s remote cardiovascular study may hold an advantage, as patients can continue to enroll and participate from their homes. The ongoing Heartline Study aims to evaluate changes in stroke risk and atrial fibrillation (AF) detection through the use of the Heartline Study’s app and the Apple Watch. With a target trial enrollment of 150,000 participants over the age of 65 years, 5,000 seniors signed up within the first week of the study’s initiation on February 25, 2020.

Jaddoo adds: “The aim of the study will be to determine whether a diagnosis of AF can be made more quickly when patients receive health notifications from the app. Patients who have already been diagnosed with AF will receive reminders on the app about adhering to their medication and refilling medicines. The Heartline Study presents the added benefit of being able to progress with minimal  interruptions due to the remote nature of the study, especially at a time when US health officials are advising the senior population to practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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