Exco Intouch, a provider of mobile patient management systems for clinical trials, recently secured funding from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) in the amount of £3 million which translates to about $4,731,000. SEP will take a minority stake in Exco Intouch, which will use the money to accelerate its expansion, driven by the rapid growth in the mobile health industry particularly in the arena of clinical research.
Among its accomplishments, Exco Intouch is currently providing eDiary services as part of Pfizer’s “virtual” REMOTE clinical trial. Other services provided include providing clinical trial recruitment/retention/data collection, post-marketing study support, and patient-reported outcome monitoring – all using mobile technology like smartphone apps and text messaging.
“Exco InTouch in Hertfordshire supplies nine of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical businesses with a suite of patient-focused services that use a combination of cell-phone and internet technology. It is used in clinical trials to help patient recruitment and retention, compliance and capturing patient reported outcomes data (ePRO) during clinical trials and in Late Phase observational studies.”
Exco Intouch is based in the United Kingdom, with offices in North America. According to the website, as of June 2010, they have supported over 500,000 patients in 60+ countries, delivering over 3 million text messages.
“The backing will help accelerate its expansion, particularly in the emerging mobile patient communication market. The company’s services have already successfully supported more than 600,000 patients participating in clinical trials in more than 70 countries, including working with Pfizer on the industry’s first ever mobile-enabled clinical trial. It is also targeting opportunities in the broader healthcare market as its mobile platform can also be used to manage patient education, medication compliance and measure effectiveness.”
Exco Intouch touts their patient management solutions as being able to make healthcare more efficient, effective, accessible, and (most importantly) more patient-centric. The company’s services (used primarily in clinical trials) support patient recruitment and retention, helping the electronic capture of patient reported outcomes data (ePRO) during clinical trials and in late phase observational studies.
“Exco’s mHealth solutions have been used in a number of marketing programs to improve adherence and persistence as well as to collect crucial post-marketing and surveillance data as part of disease management. Whilst these results are supporting biopharmaceutical sponsors, these innovative mHealth solutions are also helping patients suffering from a variety of conditions since the mobile applications are able to guide them through their on-going course of treatment and care within their own community setting.”
Text-message based programs have been shown to improve healthy behaviors – particularly in pediatric populations – such as medication adherence, so its not surprise to see such systems applied in the clinical trial setting where poor adherence can be devastating to even a great drug. The extension to mobile apps is certainly a natural one given the penetration of these devices into the general public. Other companies, such as iRx, offer similar services.