PCORI Awards $40K for System Accepting Public Research Proposals

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has awarded $40,000 to the University of Michigan to launch a Web-based crowdsourcing system that allows patients to propose ideas and pledge funds for clinical research, Modern Healthcare reports.

The Michigan researchers won the top prize in the PCORI Challenge, a competition seeking strategies for connecting researchers with interested patients (McKinney, Modern Healthcare, 6/10).

Background on PCORI

PCORI was created under the Affordable Care Act to promote, fund and disseminate comparative effectiveness research. The organization has distributed two rounds of grants to fund projects on comparative effectiveness research, including many that use health IT (iHealthBeat, 6/6).

System Details

The crowdsourcing system — known as WellSpringboard — would allow users to post a video explaining an idea for a research project online, along with a fundraising goal. Information about the proposed project would be disseminated through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Once the fundraising goal is met, researchers would be able to apply to take part in the project. They would be selected by a board of scientists and members of the public.

Matthew Davis — lead investigator of the team that developed the system — said, “The idea is that the public can be more engaged with an idea that it knows is coming from someone else just like them instead of a researcher whose motives they may not fully understand.”

Davis said the PCORI award will be used to prepare the system for launch within the next 12 months (Modern Healthcare, 6/10).

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