Medical Research And Participant Education On The Go

The BTC Team

With Apple ResearchKit™ making inroads into medical research, the field is now open for a number of innovations that can increase participation, keep participants motivated to complete a study, and increase retention.

The Problem – Participants Need Help To Stay Enrolled In Studies

One area of research that can be daunting for participants is sifting through the sheer volume of information that must be provided for a research study.

No surprises here because with stringent rules around ensuring that participants are well-informed, research studies tend to unload all the information onto the participant.

The participant also has to understand this information so they can provide their informed consent before participating in the study. The result? – They are overwhelmed and confused.

There can be a steep drop off in study enrollment as a result. Or worse, the participant may consent without fully understanding the nature and scope of the study.

There are steps that research coordinators take to ensure that participants are well informed. Most of them involve answering each participant’s questions. However, this can be a slow and manually intensive process.

The Solution – Mobile Apps

This problem lends itself to a very efficient solution when the research study is conducted using mobile apps.

Apple’s ResearchKit provides a module to get the participant’s informed consent. This module can be enhanced to provide study information in a variety of more engaging formats.

For example, a short video about the study covering areas like participation process, use of study data, benefits of the study, etc., can very quickly distill and provide relevant information in an engaging and interactive manner. Participants then find it easier to process and better understand the information.

The mobile app can also provide short quizzes at the end of each study information section to measure the participant’s level of understanding and ensure that they are genuinely well informed.

There are a lot of other helpful features that can be built-in to educate participants, such as real-time Q&A messaging sessions with research coordinators, instant feedback tools, and more.

The Result – Better Outcomes

A well-informed participant is inclined to participate more actively in, and complete the study, thus resulting in better research outcomes.

Learn how smartphone features and sensors can be used effectively to carry out medical research using the Apple ResearchKit platform.


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