Sophisticated sensor technologies have become increasingly prevalent in people’s everyday lives, and can now respond to voice commands, detect sleep patterns, and track physical activity These smart sensors have immense potential to improve individuals’ health and wellness, as photographic images, videos, sounds, vibrations, and light all become data for detecting human behavior. Read more


Welcome to Research Ethics Reading List, a new feature from Ampersand where we feature books in or adjacent to the field of research ethics that we think you’ll find interesting, motivating, inspiring,  challenging, or some combination of the four! In this edition we look at books about tech industry bias and blind spots; the powers, perversions, and potential of heredity; animal Infections and the next human pandemic; and more! Read more


The rapid proliferation of new digital health applications, tools, and technologies is reshaping the health care and research environments. Companies that develop these products may not have strong foundations in health care norms and ethics standards, and, in the the absence of FDA oversight, these products may not have been developed with an explicit focus on safety and effectiveness. It is important for IRBs to have the knowledge and strategies for evaluating these tools' adequacy to protect the data, privacy, and confidentiality of research subjects in trials involving digital health technologies. On February 8, PRIM&R hosted the webinar to provide guidance for IRBs in the assessment of new technologies in the health care field. Presenters answer follow-up questions from the webinar for readers of Ampersand. Read more


Imagine this scenario: you are a researcher conducting a clinical trial on a promising treatment for a rare but serious heart condition. Unfortunately, you are struggling to locate and enroll enough eligible participants and your study is at risk of not completing. Then you discover a Facebook support group for precisely the condition you are studying. The group is open: you do not need to be invited or to suffer from the condition to become a member—anyone can join. Here are the eligible participants you have been looking for! Read more