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CDC explores potential of using smartphones to collect public health data

Recognizing the value of mobile devices in conducting public health research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a project to examine the feasibility of collecting data using smartphone-based surveys and text messages. A recent post on Mobihealthnews offers more details:

The groups aim to first send the surveys to US residents aged 18 to 65 nationwide with questions related to smoking habits and alcohol consumption. Following the survey, the smartphone users will be asked to participate via text message in the feasibility study, which includes a survey immediately following the first and then another one a week later. The texts will include links to the survey on a mobile-friendly site.

Some of those who participate in the initial outreach that are non-smartphone users will be asked to participate in another study, the text message pilot, which will conduct the surveys one question at a time via text.

The study aims to evaluate, among other things, the response bias of data collected from the smartphone users on the mobile site to those responses collected via text.

Previously: Survey shows more than a quarter of American adults are mobile health users and CDC binge-drinking study demonstrates cell phones’ value in research
Photo by Jhaymesisviphotography

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