Introducing Research Study Templates

Everyone has questions about what works to improve our health, our relationships, and our society. But, very few of us are career researchers.

We don’t necessarily have the perfect scientifically valid study ready to put into design and launch. Even those of us with a little research experience — any time savings designing a study is much appreciated.

ProofPilot’s primary goal is to make it as easy to design (and then launch) a complex study as it is to manage a blog. We want to democratize the techniques that used to be only available to very well funded academia and big pharma.

The ProofPilot Study Template: Anyone Can Design a Study by filling in the blanks.

Study templates are predefined “fill in the blank” study protocol designs that can be tailored quickly to launch studies. When you want to run a study, instead of creating a design from scratch, you can select from these partially completed study designs. We are starting with some very basic designs (like a 30 day randomized controlled trial). Soon, we’ll include more specific designs (like an evaluation of a digital sleep app).

The ProofPilot Study Flow page is the heart of our visual protocol design language. When we first launched, this was essentially a blank page where you built your study from scratch.

Now, with study templates instead of a blank page, you’ll notice a new element in our visual protocol design language. It’s the placeholder study task. Click on these dotted boxes to fill in that placeholder with an appropriate template or tool. Depending on how study design you can fill that placeholder in with one of:

  • 400+ measurement instruments
  • several dozens connected health devices
  • electronic medical record data (tested with EPIC and Cerner)
  • treatment and intervention design tools
  • 100+ rewards
  • randomization procedures

Some templates give you complete control over changing the default design. Others are more locked down. As you finish filling in each study task placeholder, your study flow page will start to look more colorful.

The first task filled in.

As always you can click on preview, and get a sense of what the participant experience is going to be. These templates get a pre-approval from an institutional review board (IRB).

We’re excited about the study template features. They have many powerful advantages.

Study templates reduce barriers for researcher novices and create efficiencies for the career researchers.

Study templates make it easy for non-researchers to develop scientifically valid studies. A vast majority of interest in ProofPilot is from people who have never run a study before. Even more experienced researchers have never run one online before. Study templates take out some of the guesswork. Non-researchers can create studies with appropriate protocols. It also helps more experienced researchers get the hang of ProofPilot. (And understand this whole “online research” thing).

Templates can help solve the Replication Crisis.

“Testing, validating, retesting — it’s all part of a slow and grinding process to arrive at some semblance of scientific truth. But this doesn’t happen as often as it should,” says Vox in a recent series of articles on key problems in science. Now researchers can contribute templates of already completed projects, and let them be replicated around the world.

Templates can help get us closers to participants.

One of the key barriers to successful research is recruitment. But, many of the folks who do research don’t have ready access to participants. But, many of the organizations that reach out to ProofPilot do. These organizations also understand the unique environments, interests, and perspectives of these participants. Give these organizations an opportunity to help you recruit. Create a locked down template that local groups can give a little style and flair with imagery and titles.

Study templates are live for all study designers today. Start tailoring a study design today and prepare for launch to participants in early 2017!

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