Digital health company Oto is to work with clinical trial start-up Lindus Health to launch a fully remote, digital trial that aims to increase patients’ access to tinnitus therapy.

The trial will see 198 adult patients across the UK use Oto’s smartphone tinnitus management programme and assess it against therapist-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for achieving an improvement in self-reported tinnitus severity.

If Oto’s digital offering is proven to be as effective as standard one-to-one therapy, it will open the door for a patient-focused, cost-effective treatments for tinnitus sufferers.

Chief investigator for the trial, Matthew Smith, consultant ENT surgeon, said: This clinical trial is really exciting as we are testing an entirely remotely delivered therapy that would have little limit on expansion to enable far more patients to be treated, whilst still maintaining much of the personalisation of therapy that tinnitus patients benefit from.

“With the support of Lindus Health, the trial itself is an exemplar in technology enhancing clinical trial efficiency, and we have been able to set up and start recruiting at a very fast rate, reaching all corners of the UK, and ensuring both a diverse population of participants and equitable access to all tinnitus sufferers.”

Oto uses a digital, evidence-based CBT-programme, with its specialists combining first-hand experience with professional expertise to increase patient access to therapy that can help support their tinnitus management, and also reduce self-reported distress and illness severity.

Lindus Health will be delivering the trial end-to-end, including protocol draft, data collection and management, recruitment and trial monitoring. According to the company, it can run clinical trials three times faster than the old industry standard, helping ensure ground-breaking new treatments are available to patients more quickly.

Its industry-first platform, CitrusClinical, is able to manage a trial from start to finish making use of machine learning and data science. The company recently received £6.5m in funding to help accelerate its technology.

Michael Young, co-founder of Lindus Health said: “As tinnitus continues to be an issue blighting around 15% of the UK population – and with no single cure in sight – this trial will be fundamental in helping those who suffer to better manage their symptoms.

“With the ability to offer a fully-remote trial, we’re helping people from all over the UK to gain access to life-changing coaching – with our process delivering clinical trials three times faster than the industry standard.”