With every Android and iPhone user as a potential participant, deploy your study at a pace and scale like never before.
Design your study in just a few simple steps. Define research teams, access control, participation period, consent form materials, and other parameters.
Select the sensor data to objectively measure behaviours important in your research, such as GPS for mobility, motion sensors for physical activity, or Bluetooth for social interactions.
Add surveys for eligibility screening, demographic questions, EMAs, and other elements of the study. Define skip-patterns and branching not only based on previous responses, but also based on participant’s context detected using sensor data.
Enrol participants simply by providing them with the study QR Code. Scanning the QR code on their smartphone will guide participants through study steps, from eligibility screening and informed consent, to data collection and post-study survey.
Both sensor data and survey responses are available through Ethica dashboard minutes after their collection, so you can track the study progress in real-time and start the data analysis right away.
You can always adjust and modify any part of the study, even while it’s in progress, so the study can also evolve as your needs or understanding evolves. Ethica will automatically update participants’ devices accordingly.
Larger sample population leads to stronger findings. Ethica facilitates conducting larger studies by automating the whole enrolment process. Each study will have a distinct registration code, URL, and QR code. When an individual scans the QR code or visits the URL on her Android or iPhone device, she will be guided through eligibility screening, consenting materials, and pre-study survey. Individuals can participate only if they meet the eligibility requirements and consent, meaning participants do not have to visit a research lab.
Ethica allows observing of participants’ behaviour in the real-world while they go about their daily lives, providing higher quality data while reducing the Hawthorne effect. You can define the steps participants have to follow during the study, from answering surveys, to continuously recording activity, mobility, other sensor data, and even performing monitored tasks. Ethica will guide participants to perform the tasks exactly as specified, wherever they are.
Setting up a study in Ethica doesn’t require any technical background. You can design surveys, define their prompt schedule, select sensors to capture required behavioural data, and any other steps needed, all through your online dashboard. At the same time, Ethica provides different programming interfaces to write customized code if needed, to collect specific types of data or to perform custom analysis.
Participants can follow all steps defined in your study regardless of their Internet connectivity. Whether they are connected all the time, or only once in awhile, Ethica collects and uploads the data when possible, without any participant interaction. It’s also possible to control the use of Wi-Fi vs. mobile data to manage potential additional cost incurred by participants.
Ethica has already been deployed on 303 most-common Android smartphones, and all current versions of Apple devices, so you can enrol participants based on your own criteria and not based on their brand of smartphone. Additionally, Ethica abstracts all technical differences between different smartphones and provides the collected data in a common format.
Participants’ data is uploaded, verified, and stored minutes after it is collected, so you can monitor your study progress immediately after it starts. You can start analyzing the data right away, using Ethica dashboard or using external tools such as Spark and Tableau.
If necessary, Ethica also allows you to change any part of your study while it is in progress. You can add or remove monitored data sources, modify the survey questions, or change the study duration. Ethica automatically synchronizes the changes with participants’ devices and continues the study based on these modifications. This way, the study design can also evolve as your needs or understanding evolves.
Ethica provides different options to increase participant engagement throughout the study. You can choose to feed your collected data back to participants, in order to increase the quality of your data and lower participant dropout rate. Alternatively you can block participants’ access to their data during collection to control for the potential Hawthorne effect.
Ethica provides participants with many options to increase their privacy, from snoozing the study participation for some time, to opting out from certain data sources, to having the option to delete their collected data afterwards. In addition to assuring participants that they have full control over their data, these options explicitly addresses many common concerns institutional review boards (IRBs) might have regarding your study.
All data in Ethica is encrypted immediately after it is recorded, stored in private servers, and accessible only through secure protocols. This guarantees maximum security of you and your participants’ data. We can also help you setup and store the data on your internal servers if you need it to be hosted inside of your own organization. If you use your organization’s own servers you will still benefit from Ethica’s tools.