mHealthExco InTouch, the leading provider of patient engagement and data capture solutions for clinical research and healthcare providers, has announced the publication of study findings that clearly demonstrate the equivalence of EQ-5D-5L, a widely used and validated generic measure of health status, in both paper and mobile phone administration modes.

The company has worked closely with the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), who are one of the largest and most dynamic schools of health research within the UK. Their ongoing partnership is conducting validated research into the use of mobile phones and devices for the collection of patient reported outcomes (PROs).

The aim is to scientifically and statistically address industry questions regarding administration mode equivalence, and to share findings through peer reviewed journals. The first stage of this partnership has been to carry out an independent study, to investigate the equivalence across paper and mobile solutions for delivering PRO measures through the use of an EQ-5D-5L outcomes tool.

Exco InTouch has taken the industry lead in this field, having been the first company to conduct validated research that showed the equivalence between paper and mobile phone applications when using another validated instrument, the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis NRS 3.1 Index (WOMAC). Now, the company has emerged as the first to conduct a scientific, peer-reviewed study that demonstrates the equivalence of paper and smartphone applications when utilizing EQ-5D-5L.

The study findings showed that the EQ-5D-5L utility, the VAS scores and the frequency of respondents endorsing individual EQ-5D-5L dimension response levels, did not significantly differ across the paper and mobile phone administration modes under analysis. Moreover, multiple additional benefits were observed for the use of mobile devices. First, response rates were higher in mobile, indicating higher compliance compared to paper. Additionally, the majority of participants using mobile concurred that the mobile version of EQ-5D-5L was simple to complete, that the phone was easy to use, and that following this experience, they would enthusiastically complete mobile health measures again.

Neil Rotherham, Executive Chairman of Exco InTouch, remarked: “Exco InTouch is pleased to be working with the experts at ScHARR and to be taking the industry initiative to enable this type of study to be done. The findings have clearly demonstrated the equivalence of EQ-5D-5L, a very well respected outcomes measure, in both paper and mobile devices. The study also further contributes to addressing concerns about the validity of instruments transposed from paper to electronic media. This authoritative study clearly shows strong additional benefits to patients and clinicians when using mobile applications with this type of validated instrument. This includes higher response rates, higher compliance and ease of use.”

Prof. John Brazier, Professor and Director of Research for Health Economics and Decision Science at ScHARR, commented: “We are very pleased to have completed this study and to make its insightful findings available to the industry. Most notably, the results show that health status measures, such as EQ-5D, using mobile phones, generates equivalent results to more traditional methods, but with added  benefits, including lessening the burden of data entry. Furthermore, the findings provide evidence that electronic measures are valid for use to collect data in clinical trial, routine care, and health diary settings.”