Posted by:Ranjani Rao September 20th, 2016

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 finish the study and increase retention.


One area of research that can be daunting for participants is sifting through the sheer volume of information that is provided on the research study. No surprises there because with stringent rules around ensuring that participants are well-informed, research studies tend to pour all the information on the participant. The participant has to understand this information so they can provide their informed consent before participating in the study.

There can be a steep drop off in study enrollment if the participant feels overwhelmed or confused by all this information. Or worse, the participant may consent without fully understanding the nature and scope of the study. There are steps taken to ensure that participants are well informed and most of them involve having research coordinators to answer questions that the participant may have. This can be a slow and manually intensive process.

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 and this module can be enhanced to provide study information in a variety of more engaging formats. For example, a short video on 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 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 the participant is truly 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 etc.

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

Learn how smart phone features and sensors can be used effectively to carryout medical research using Apple ResearchKit platform.Watch the demo app to know more!

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