About ProofPilot

Our Mission

1. Make it easy to run scientifically valid research studies to determine evidence on what works and what doesn’t to improve lives.

2. Make research study participation accessible, interesting ... and even fun.

3. Use the resulting evidence to make better decisions, speed innovation and discover breakthroughs that spread to more people who will benefit from them.

Our History

Before launching ProofPilot, many of us worked together at a consulting firm. We focused on helping academic institutions and government agencies develop online research studies.

A lot of those studies focused on testing different HIV prevention strategies. Those studies targeted gay men, early technology adopters. So, we were experimenting with online research studies well before the rest of us were doing so much online.

But, there were problems. Even with open sourced software, it's expensive to develop online research infrastructure. We could only work with the most well-funded studies. For those studies that could afford us, the problems didn't end. It took forever to launch a study.

Developing online technology takes months. During that time, study protocols changed. That required tech changes. We rushed those changes through to reduce frequent delays. This created bugs that sometimes weren't caught until it was to late.

The technology added a layer of management complexity to a process already fraught with difficulties. A vast majority of human subject research studies don't end on time or on budget. Recruitment issues, study protocol deviations, inconsistently applied regulations ...No one was happy.

Before we started every new project, we looked for a solution. There wasn't one. So, like a lot of people involved in research, we relived the pain over and over again.

And that's why we created ProofPilot. We initially created it to solve our own problems. And in the process of doing so - created a solution that makes a real research study easy for anyone.

Learn More: 

How ProofPilot Made Our Experience in HIV Prevention Research a Competitive Advantage (The ProofPilot Blog)

What #Digital Health Can Learn from the LGBT Community (The Huffington Post)

Leadership and Advisors (Part of The ProofPilot Crew)

Matthew Amsden

CEO and Founder
Twenty years of experience planning, designing and managing complex online research experiences. Founded Cyclogram, a research consulting firm.

Swati Desai

The former Deputy Commissioner of Evaluation and Performance Measurement at the $9 Billion NYC Human Resources Administration. Now at the Urban Institute

Esther Dyson

The infamous futurist and health investor. Ms. Dyson is Executive Founder of Wellville an effort to fast track health in five US communities over 10 years.

Jasper Schmidt

Chief Medical Officer
As a practicing ER physician, Dr. Schmidt brings a practical view to research including and beyond clinical trials. Beyond ER Medicine, he's also certified in Bio-Informatics

John Duran

Mayor Protemps of West Hollywood, CA, one of the most innovative communities in US. Also chairman of National Association of Latino Elected Officials.

Tom Gehring

Former CEO of the San Diego County Medical Society one of the largest local medical societies in the US. A noted expert in healthcare leadership.

Ernesto Vargas

Director of Technology
Part of ProofPilot from nearly the beginning, Mr. Vargas has experience in research infrastructure going back to 2008 with the US CDC.

Camille Nebeker

Assistant Professor at UC San Diego with a focus on research ethics and innovative approaches to human subjects protections in digital health innovation.

Deborah Walker

Former President of the American Public Health Association, Governing Member of World Federation of Pubilc Health Associations.

Douglas Heckathorn

A leading social science researcher, Dr. Heckathorn developed respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a technique used heavily in ProofPilot's recruitment techniques.

Eric Hekler

A leading innovator in research methodologies including digital health, behavioral trials and N of 1 studies. Associate Professor at UCSD.

Statement of Impartiality

Many different types of organizations have an interest in performing research studies, including academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, public health entities, consumer brands and trade groups, and others.

Unless specifically noted as a collaborator, ProofPilot does not endorse or support specific studies hosted on our platform. ProofPilot is democratizing research tools and enabling organizations and institutions to run studies of their own creation that were never possible before.

We believe in making research tools available to organizations with various viewpoints and perspectives. ProofPilot staff and investors may not always share those viewpoints. We may even raise our eyebrows at the study hypothesis.

But, research is about keeping an open mind - and creating appropriate protocols to uncover answers. Sometimes those answers might surprise us. Sometimes they will change our minds. That's why we are here; we want those differing perspectives to help us find real answers to what works to improve lives. Differing perspectives, ideas, and orientations will help us get to those answers.

All research designers on ProofPilot must share this perspective. ProofPilot will not tolerate purposeful bias and breaches of a common code of conduct. You'll notice our typically jovial tone is absent here. We take these issues extremely seriously.

1) At our discretion, and as necessary to protect our participants and our own credibility, ProofPilot may decline to host a study that appears to purposefully create a bias towards demonstrating a predetermined outcome.

2) Those designing and managing a study must disclose any relationships that may introduce bias into the study design. If ProofPilot determines those disclosures will not be made, it reserves the right to terminate any and all relationships, take any appropriate legal action, and communicate appropriately with the press.

3)Sure, some studies may make people uncomfortable. But discomfort can lead to important discoveries. However, ProofPilot reserves the right to end studies that are purposefully hurtful and otherwise offensive and without any scientific merit. Those kinds of studies have no place in a community and company dedicated to improving the human condition.

ProofPilot is a community of researchers and participants. We ask that community to self-police to provide another layer of protection against research bias. To that end, we encourage any user to contact ProofPilot if a study seems to be targeting a purposeful predetermined result.