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BACKGROUND: Significant advances in digital technologies have meant that health care data can be collected, stored, transferred, and analyzed for research purposes more easily than ever before. Participant-centric initiatives (PCI) are defined as "tools, programs, and projects that empower participants to engage in the research process" using digital technologies and have the potential to provide a number of benefits to both participants and researchers, including the promotion of public trust in medical research, improved quality of research, increased recruitment and retention, and improved health care delivery. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this scoping review is to describe the extent and range of PCIs across the United Kingdom, United States, and Japan that are designed to facilitate medical research. METHODS: The methodological framework described by Levac et al will be applied to this scoping review. We will search electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing, and Allied Health Literature and CiNii), grey literature sources, Internet search engines (Google and Bing), and hand search key journals and reference lists of relevant articles. All digital tools and programs will be eligible for inclusion if there is a description of key features and functions that fall within the parameters of a PCI. Only those that play a role in medical research will be included. RESULTS: Preliminary searches conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE retrieved 1820 and 2322 results, respectively. The scoping review will be completed by January 2018. CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review will be the first to map the extent and range of PCIs currently available across the United Kingdom, United States, and Japan, and will be the first review to contribute to a better understanding of what PCIs patients may benefit from. Researchers and practitioners will be able to use information in this review as a guide for patients and also as a guide for the development of future tools and programs. The results will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations.

Original publication




Journal article


JMIR Res Protoc

Publication Date





data sharing, digital technology, dynamic consent, patient empowerment, patient engagement, patient participation, patient public involvement, research participant