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Validating digital tools for remote clinical research

18 June 2021

Jenn Ferrar and Gareth Griffith have been featured by UoB News for their research.

A UoB News article featuring Jenn and Gareth is available here. See below for details of the associated paper linked with this news article.

Developing Digital Tools for Remote Clinical Research: How to Evaluate the Validity and Practicality of Active Assessments in Field Settings

By Jennifer Ferrar, Gareth Griffith, Caroline Skirrow, Nathan Cashdollar, Nick Taptiklis, James Dobson, Fiona Cree, Francesca Cormack, Jennifer Barnett and Marcus Munafò.


The ability of remote research tools to collect granular, high-frequency data on symptoms and digital biomarkers is an important strength because it circumvents many limitations of traditional clinical trials and improves the ability to capture clinically relevant data. This approach allows researchers to capture more robust baselines and derive novel phenotypes for improved precision in diagnosis and accuracy in outcomes. The process for developing these tools however is complex because data need to be collected at a frequency that is meaningful but not burdensome for the participant or patient. Furthermore, traditional techniques, which rely on fixed conditions to validate assessments, may be inappropriate for validating tools that are designed to capture data under flexible conditions. This paper discusses the process for determining whether a digital assessment is suitable for remote research and offers suggestions on how to validate these novel tools.

Full text available here.

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