Digital medicine developer ResApp Health has announced its second clinical trial program in Perth as it seeks to accelerate the testing of its smartphone-based diagnosis of respiratory disease.
ResApp says it has received approval to enrol patients at Princess Margaret Hospital, as it seeks to gather data from people with respiratory conditions, who cough into a smartphone to enable diagnosis.
The company has an existing study under way at Joondalup Health Campus, which has enrolled more than 150 patients. It has a target of 400 patients enrolled at both sites by the end of the year in order to both test the software and improve its algorithms for diagnosing conditions such as pneumonia and asthma.
Recently relisted after the reverse takeover of Narhex Life Sciences, ResApp is an early Australian player in a new class of biotech that combines mobile communications and the emerging market for telehealth.
Queensland-based CEO and managing director Tony Keating said Perth-based ResApp was taking advantage of the convergence of two distinct technological developments within the medical sector – digital health, such as software used in wireless environments, and telehealth, where improved communications allowed thorough consultations to take place remotely.
It is also part of a trend towards consumer-based medicine, where the patient has more access to their own health records and treatments are more home-based (as outlined in a recent Business News special report on health care).
In town to announce the new trial and roadshow to Perth stockbrokers, Dr Keating said one of the differences between this type of biotechnology and traditional pharmaceutical research was the speed to market, because there were fewer safety concerns.
He expects to have the application at commercialisation stage by the end of 2016. ResApp has raised about $5 million from investors and was valued at almost $10 million by the market last week.
Respiratory diseases were the biggest single reason for visits to the doctor and were often misdiagnosed.