A new networking service called ResearchMatch has launched with the express goal of connecting volunteers with research studies. Stanford's School of Medicine is one of the 51 institutions participating in ResearchMatch.
According to Steven Alexander, MD, ResearchMatch is designed to address an ongoing challenge in medical research:
"Recruitment is the Achilles' heel of medical research," said Alexander, professor and chief of pediatric nephrology. "Finding enough study participants is very difficult. So if this enhances recruitment at all, it will be a real plus."
The service is free, secure, and easy to use (and the sign-up process is remarkably straightforward). Many researchers need healthy participants for their studies, so people without specific medical conditions are also able to sign up.