Study led by an academic-industry collaboration proves viability to remotely recruit and engage participants for ongoing data collection in infectious disease research
FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vibrent Health, a leading software-as-a-service company in the field of precision health research, announced today the publication of a methods paper in JMIR Formative Research (JFR). The prospective cohort study is titled A Digital Health Initiative (COVIDsmart) for Remote Data Collection and Study of COVID-19’s Impact on the State of Virginia.
The peer-reviewed study aims to determine individuals’ social, mental, and physical well-being across the state of Virginia, an area with evidence of a growing rural-urban demographic divide. Increasingly, there are distinct socioeconomic differences between the multiethnic population of Northern Virginia and the predominately white population in rural communities. This unique sociodemographic distribution offers an interesting and important source to examine the multifaceted impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in a broad range of lifestyle, environmental, economic, and social settings.
The study is led by an industry-academic collaboration including Vibrent Health, George Mason University, and the Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI)—a collaboration between Eastern Virginia Medical School and regional healthcare provider Sentara. A study team comprised of experts from these organizations collaboratively designed and deployed a statewide digital health research study called COVIDsmart to understand the effects of COVID-19
COVIDsmart relies exclusively on digital methods for eConsent, participant communication and engagement, and data collection. The study team used the scientifically-validated ResearchCloud Enterprise platform across multiple research domains, including physiological, neurological, social neuroscience, socio-psychological, and behavioral economics.
At time of publication of the paper, the study was able to convert nearly 21% of visitors to the study website, using only digital touchpoints. The most successful recruitment modality resulting in study enrollment was the use of newsletters or emails that popularized the study across the target catchment areas within Virginia.
“The preliminary findings of COVIDsmart demonstrate that individuals are willing to participate in fully-remote digital health research, which is promising news for infectious disease research,” said Vibrent Health CEO Praduman “PJ” Jain. “Digital methods not only enable researchers to scale their participant populations over larger areas, but also protect patients and research teams from potential risks of in-person data collection. The high level of engagement in this study confirms the viability of this approach.”
The data collected remotely included mood, social communication and isolation, alcohol dependency, sleep deprivation, and other behavioral risk indicators over time. The study team also implemented incentives, reminders, and other retention strategies for participants.
This concluded study represents a growing priority within the research community to build permanence and sustainability in infectious disease research. Digital health research using platforms like ResearchCloud Enterprise provide a safe, scalable, and speedy model for infectious disease and epidemic monitoring.
“The industry-academic collaboration for COVIDsmart holds great promise for accelerating research in infectious disease, and we hope to do more of it,” said Jain. “We are actively working to support more collaborations and invite other research programs to partner with us in these initiatives to accelerate the benefit to global health.”
To discuss potential collaborations in health or clinical research, visit https://info.vibrenthealth.com/request-a-pilot.
About Vibrent Health
Vibrent Health develops digital health technology and research tools for health organizations, researchers and research participants. Powering the next generation of precision medicine, Vibrent’s scalable technology platform for individual and population health provides actionable insights to help accelerate medical discoveries. Vibrent Health is proud to serve, since 2017, as the Participant Technology Systems Center for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, which aims to collect health data from 1 million or more people to support a wide variety of research studies. Since 2020, Vibrent has also collaborated with numerous organizations to conduct a variety of research initiatives spanning several topics, including precision medicine, cancer, COVID, substance abuse, aging, and fertility, among others. To learn more, visit vibrenthealth.com.
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