Novartis announced the launch of its FocalView app, an ophthalmic digital research platform created with ResearchKit. FocalView aims to allow researchers to track disease progression by collecting real-time, self-reported data directly from consenting patients.
“Because patients with eye diseases are often not as mobile, FocalView has the potential to offer tremendous benefit for the ophthalmic community and for researchers looking to develop better treatments for these patients,” said Dr. Mark Bullimore, Medical Advisor for the creation of FocalView.
He said that collating validated patient-reported outcomes in clinical trial research is no longer a nice-to-have. “This kind of data is fast becoming a critical element of research and development, because it offers a better reflection of real-world patient experiences, fosters better patient compliance and provides researchers with richer and more accurate data points,” Bullimore said.
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.
“Optimizing digital technology in research and development, particularly in ophthalmic disease, could have a marked impact on the quality of the data we capture,” said Bertrand Bodson, Novartis Chief Digital Officer. “We believe apps like FocalView, which we’ve made freely available to the research community on an open-source platform, can help accelerate the development of treatments and bring them to the patients who need them most.”
FocalView is now available for download from the App Store in the US. Consent to contribute to research data will be required before a user can interact with the tool. Novartis is planning to launch in additional markets in the future.