Digital and precision clinical trials: innovations for testing mental health medications, devices, and psychosocial treatments

Eric Lenze, John Torous, Patricia Arean

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mental health treatment advances - including neuropsychiatric medications and devices, psychotherapies, and cognitive treatments - lag behind other fields of clinical medicine such as cardiovascular care. One reason for this gap is the traditional techniques used in mental health clinical trials, which slow the pace of progress, produce inequities in care, and undermine precision medicine goals. Newer techniques and methodologies, which we term digital and precision trials, offer solutions. These techniques consist of (1) decentralized (i.e., fully-remote) trials which improve the speed and quality of clinical trials and increase equity of access to research, (2) precision measurement which improves success rate and is essential for precision medicine, and (3) digital interventions, which offer increased reach of, and equity of access to, evidence-based treatments. These techniques and their rationales are described in detail, along with challenges and solutions for their utilization. We conclude with a vignette of a depression clinical trial using these techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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