Steven R. Steinhubl et al. –

Nicole is a 46-year-old mother of two who works for her local bank. She has an autoimmune condition that has been difficult to control. She was excited to see a video on her patient community website about a research programme for a new therapeutic intervention. After absorbing the details of the study, being informed of its risks and benefits, confirming her qualifications, and being given the opportunity to ask any questions, Nicole completed the smartphone consent. She then began a rigorous study regimen: daily medication, weekly monitoring of vital signs, and continuous tracking of her activity and quality of sleep. Communications, her choice of text or verbal, include weekly prompts to describe how she is feeling, and the rare reminder when she forgets to take her medication. While initially worried about time demands, which include bimonthly blood and microbiome testing, this has not been an issue—she simply mails these samples. In fact, she has enjoyed the ongoing return of personalised results, which have helped in managing her condition.

Read the full article in The Lancet.