• Dublin, Ireland

The new proof-of-concept developments were revealed at the ISPOR Annual European Congress

ICON plc, (NASDAQ: ICLR) a global provider of drug development solutions and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, today revealed proof-of-concept developments leveraging Voice Assistant technology to support patients in clinical trials.

Responding to the drive to leverage technology to make trial participation simpler, more convenient and more patient-centric, ICON will be demonstrating early work using the Amazon Echo Voice Assistant platform to enhance interactions with patients enrolled into clinical trials, at the ISPOR 20th Annual European Congress, Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday 8th November 2017.

ICON’s proof-of-concept application leverages a Voice Assistant to deliver a patient-reported outcome instrument and collect patient responses that may have application in future clinical trials.  Operating in multiple languages, initial informal testing of the application, which is launched using the command “Alexa, complete my diary”, has indicated that the platform is able to operate robustly with multiple users and languages with minimal training.

“The development of conversational applications may provide an effective way of interacting with patients in an engaging manner in future clinical trials,” commented Tom O’Leary, CIO, ICON plc. “Our industry already has experience of using voice-delivered patient-reported outcome instruments using telephone-based IVR systems.  As Voice Assistant technology becomes increasingly adopted, it provides the opportunity to deliver interactive and engaging approaches in areas such as patient education, trial consent and the collection of patient-reported outcomes data.”

It is predicted that by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done using Voice Assistants or Virtual Reality [1]. This is further demonstrated by the rapid increase in sales of voice-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home which are predicted to rise 130% this year in the US [2].

ICON continues to focus on the factors that are critical to transforming trials for future success, including exploring how to best leverage new technology in novel ways to provide rapid access to, and analysis of, high-quality data to speed and improve decision making in clinical trials. This work is one part of the innovation and research ICON and Mapi experts will present at the ISPOR Annual European Congress in Glasgow, comprising over 50 posters, short courses and workshops.

About ICON plc

ICON plc is a global provider of drug development solutions and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The company specialises in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development - from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. With headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, ICON currently, operates from 97 locations in 38 countries and has approximately 13,100 employees.

[1] Gartner (2017).  Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond: Surviving the Storm Winds of Digital Disruption

[2] eMarketer (2017).  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Alexa-Say-What-Voice-Enabled-Speaker-Usage-Grow-Nearly-130-This-Year/1015812

ICON Media Contact

Deena Mistry
Weber Shandwick
Phone: +44 (0)207 067 0387
Email: DMistry@webershandwick.com

​This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and information currently available, including current economic and industry conditions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or actual results, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those stated in this press release. The forward-looking statements are subject to future events, risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the statements, including, but not limited to, the ability to enter into new contracts, maintain client relationships, manage the opening of new offices and offering of new services, the integration of new business mergers and acquisitions, as well as economic and global market conditions and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in SEC reports filed by ICON, all of which are difficult to predict and some of which are beyond our control. For these reasons, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. The word "expected" and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement, either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More information about the risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements may be found in SEC reports filed by ICON, including its Form 20-F, F-1, S-8 and F-3, which are available on the SEC's website.