US-based medical technology firm LivaNova has entered into research collaboration with Verily, an Alphabet company, to capture measures of depression within its RECOVER clinical study.

The RECOVER trial evaluates the effectiveness of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (VNS Therapy), Symmetry in subjects with difficult-to-treat depression (DTD).

LivaNova chief executive officer Damien McDonald said: “The goal of the RECOVER study is to assess how VNS Therapy can offer patients with DTD relief from their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

“Through this collaboration with Verily, we can build on our work to study depression and better understand the complex elements that contribute to the disorder, enhancing our ability to treat the patients who battle it.”

LivaNova will leverage Verily’s technology and analytics for RECOVER trial

Under the new research collaboration, LivaNova and Verily will work together to collect data on patient behaviour, leveraging Verily’s technology and analytics to further understand depressive episodes and patient’s response to treatment.

The patients involved in the RECOVER trial will be provided with the Verily Study Watch, a wearable device designed to capture physiological and environmental data for clinical research, and a Verily mobile phone app.

The company said that the new approach would enable investigators better understand the impact of depression and its treatment on study participants.

The subjects in RECOVER trial are enabled to choose whether to use the Verily Study Watch and a mobile phone app designed to measure passive and interactive data or not, using an Android device.

In addition, the Verily technology provides measures including heart rate, activity level, sleep quality and various other domains of function, including patient-recorded voice logs for more accurately assessing depression and its effects.

Verily clinical science and neurology head William Marks said: “Finding new solutions to help those who suffer from Difficult-to-Treat Depression promises to truly transform patients’ lives.

“We look forward to working with LivaNova to gather additional data and evidence on VNS Therapy for Difficult-to-Treat Depression with the potential for collaboration on other areas of research in the future.”