New Research from ICON Demonstrates Support for ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Approach in Clinical Trials

The research highlights how commonly-cited concerns around the use of patients’ own devices are not as much of a deterrent to adoption as is often thought.

There are two main areas of concern in using a BYOD approach for PRO data collection in clinical studies. The first relates to equivalence and how different device sizes and operating systems might affect the measurement properties of a PRO instrument. The second relates to the technical and practical aspects of using a patient’s own device, including data capacity, upgrades to operating systems and a change of device mid-study, which could negatively impact PRO data collection.

ICON’s research, completed in association with Medidata and mProve Health, measured attitudes towards these perceived concerns and provides industry with further information to devise future strategies for BYOD adoption. The survey measured attitudes from 79 respondents from biopharma, CROs, ePRO providers, patient advocates and research institutions.

The survey results found that biopharma and CRO professionals appear to be significantly less deterred by challenges of equivalence and the practical and technical challenges associated with BYOD in clinical studies. Survey highlights include:

  • Only 44% of respondents thought that equivalence should be demonstrated on all possible devices used in a BYOD study.
  • The majority of respondents agreed that demonstration of equivalence on a single device specification was acceptable as long devices with smaller screen sizes or screen resolutions could be prevented. Only 30% of respondents disagreed with this approach.
  • Over 75% responded that they were “not at all concerned” or only “a little concerned” about issues such as a PRO app being deleted, inadequate storage space for PRO data, or the trial participant becoming distracted by other apps on their device during PRO completion.
  • Over half (53%) were not concerned that people may be able to turn off notifications, such as diary reminders, and 74% were not worried about trial participants changing their phones mid-study.

“As a CRO that is at the forefront of innovating the clinical trial process, we wanted to research industry perceptions towards BYOD, an approach that has the potential to greatly enhance patient engagement and compliance,” commented Willie Muehlhausen, ICON’s Vice President eCOA and Head of Innovation. “We are encouraged by the research findings which show support from biopharma and CROs for the adoption of BYOD models. We will continue to investigate this important area and work with industry partners and regulatory authorities to provide evidence and guidance to make BYOD a fully endorsed approach.”

About ICON plc

ICON plc is a global provider of drug development solutions and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The company specialises in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development – from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. With headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, ICON currently operates from 89 locations in 37 countries and has approximately 12,200 employees. Further information is available at


Weber Shandwick
Cami Frederix, +44 (0) 207 067 0272