Request for Information (RFI): Potential of Wearable Devices in Cancer Research and Care
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 3, 2022

Response Date:
May 02, 2022

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Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit inputs on the use and development of wearable technologies for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and treatment follow-up.


Wearable devices are becoming ubiquitous in society and can potentially improve cancer research and care and mitigate the financial burden of cancer. Wearable devices offer immediate medical benefits, including improved adherence to medical treatments and the accuracy of symptom tracking over self-reported data.

Most existing wearable devices track physical activity (e.g., steps and heart rate) and exercise regimes in-real time. These features are highly valuable for monitoring of well-being and physical activity of the patient under treatment. It is also feasible that next-generation wearable devices will be capable of monitoring physiological biomarkers (from sweat and epidermis, for example) and thus will allow for improved cancer diagnosis, treatment, and treatment follow-up.

The fast development of information technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, paired with smart devices will influence the design of wearable devices and analysis of data collected by them and can result in the development of miniature devices with increased number of functions.

Information Requested

Through this Request for Information (RFI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks stakeholders’ inputs and comments on the value of wearable technologies to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and treatment follow-up. Below, we provide a possible list of relevant topics associated with wearable technologies in formulating your response. If information, you provide, is available on a website or in published material, please provide appropriate links.

  • Describe opportunities for wearable devices in cancer research and care. In which context (diagnosis, therapy, and/or patient monitoring, other) or histology would use of these devices be beneficial?
  • Comment on wearable devices’ usefulness to enhancing patient compliance and patient improved quality of life.
  • Current, commercially available wearables are capable of monitoring physical activity (steps, calories burned, and heart rate). Where would such devices find use in cancer care?
  • Provide input on desired features and functions that would be important to integrate into existing wearable devices or into future device designs capable of measuring physiological markers. Discuss physiological biomarkers available from sweat or from probing epidermis (or from other bodily fluids accessible to wearable devices) that would be most relevant to be interrogated by such future devices.
  • Identify significant technical and clinical barriers that would prevent the broad use of wearable devices in cancer care.
  • Comment on pros and cons of integrating wearable devices into clinical trials workflow. Also, discuss the importance of establishing standardized procedures (e.g., wear time, comfort) for such clinical trials to achieve accurate, reproducible, and comparable outcomes.
  • Discuss regulatory and reimbursement challenges which wearable devices might encounter during clinical adoption.
  • Comment on the influence of personal smart devices (phones and table computers) on designs of next-generation wearable devices, and the role of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the integration and mining of data originating from wearable patient monitoring.

Submitting a Response

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to Responses must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 2, 2022.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation, grant, or cooperative agreement, or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

NIH looks forward to your input; please share this RFI request with other individuals relevant to this inquiry.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Carolina Salvador Morales, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phone: 240-276-7181

Leela Rani Avula, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phone: 240-276-5164

Piotr Grodzinski, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phone: 240-781-3305