Mobile App Data Collection Shows Promise for Critical Population Health Surveys

Mobile app data collection can bring access to more potential clinical study participants, reduce clinical study timeframes, and create more comprehensive sample sizes, according to research published in Survey Practice.

“It is critical that health and other national surveys represent the voice and experience of all Americans,” said senior author Ingrid Oakley-Girvan, SVP of Research and Strategy at Medable Inc., Research Director at the Public Health Institute, and Associate Member of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection and the Stanford Cancer Institute.  “Smartphone survey data can help policy makers allocate resources in realtime to respond to disease outbreaks such as opioid addiction. Our work sheds light on the value of smartphones to address declining participation rates, rising survey costs, and poor coverage across demographics.”

Oakley-Girvan and co-authors Yasamin Miller, Cyrus DiCiccio, Juan Lavista, Cheryl Gore-Felton, Amanda Richardson, Carlos Acle, Jeff Hancock, Lorene Nelson, and Oxana Palesh were interested in the impact that smartphones can have on health data survey collection.

They studied the response to a mobile app survey, built on the Medable Inc. platform, by deploying it in a college student population to determine if students would download the app, and to determine if the app would retain individuals in a study, two significant barriers being faced by researchers conducting population surveys.

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