Video-based Clinical Outcome Assessments (vCOAs) are poised to revolutionize the management of pediatric rare diseases by providing a more accurate, engaging, and patient-centered approach to monitoring and evaluating treatment outcomes. These methods will become more integrated and essential in clinical trials and everyday care.

In this paper, our authors explore the advantages of vCOAs, the requirements for their implementation and validation, and what the future may hold for further vCOA development.



Preserving function and independence to perform activities of daily living (ADL) is critical for patients and carers to manage the burden of care and improve quality of life. In children living with rare diseases, video recording ADLs offer the opportunity to collect the patients’ experience in a real-life setting and accurately reflect treatment effectiveness on outcomes that matter to patients and families.

Areas covered

We reviewed the measurement of ADL in pediatric rare diseases and the use of video to develop at-home electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA) by leveraging smartphone apps and artificial intelligence-based analysis. We broadly searched PubMed using Boolean combinations of the following MeSH terms ‘Rare Diseases,’ ‘Quality of Life,’ ‘Activities of Daily Living,’ ‘Child,’ ‘Video Recording,’ ‘Outcome Assessment, Healthcare,’ ‘Intellectual disability,’ and ‘Genetic Diseases, Inborn.’ Non-controlled vocabulary was used to include human pose estimation in movement analysis.

Expert opinion

Broad uptake of video eCOA in drug development is linked to the generation of technical and clinical validation evidence to confidently assess a patient’s functional abilities. Software platforms handling video data must align with quality regulations to ensure data integrity, security, and privacy. Regulatory flexibility and optimized validation processes should facilitate video eCOA to support benefit/risk drug assessment.

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