The ProofPilot Blog - Design, Launch & Participant in Research Studies

Why is Scientific Evidence Important?

Evidence from scientifically sound research studies is important because it lets us make decisions based on “what works.”The lack of evidence has real-world business consequences. No business person would run a company without an accounting system and cash register. It’s how business, large or small, measures success. But, when it comes to health and wellness, we’re essentially running things without an accounting system. We have only anecdotal information about what works and what doesn’t. So we throw our limited resources at things that may or may not work.

As humans, there’s little we’re more curious about than ourselves. There’s a massive demand to know what effects health, behavior & performance. In fact, during the 2016 presidential election cycle, more than half the 20 most shared articles on social media — for the entire year — were research study results.

“The New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function” was shared over 5 million times. By contrast “An Open Letter to my Friends who Support Donald Trump,” the most shared political content of a very political year, was shared about half as often.

Research techniques aren’t keeping up with the demand for information. It takes several million dollars, an army of graduate students and a year or more to plan a study. Most studies don’t end on time or budget. Those studies that do launch are highly inefficient management nightmares. Participants feel like cows jabbed with treatments and milked for data. The disconnected systems and inconsistently applied regulations makes success almost impossible.

The scientifically valid techniques to determine what works and what doesn’t are so wonky difficult and expensive very few of them get done. According to the Institute of Medicine roundtable report in 2006, less than 50% of all medical treatments conducted in the US are not supported by evidence.

Outside of medicine, that number drops even lower. Most of what we know about health is based on small flawed studies. So we’re left to make some of the most important decisions of our lives. Decisions about how to treat illness and disease, optimize our health and wellness, and improve our society based on insufficient information.

Innovation stagnates. The American Medical Association has publically described digital health tools as “modern day snake oil.” Insurers, payers, and funders, who are often legally required to focus funding on evidence-based initiatives and treatments only fund the tried and true. Promising solutions can’t scale. Without evidence, health and social service programming can’t attract investment and funding to expand beyond limited pilots. Wasted Money & Increased Costs. We spend money based on things that may not work … or worse.

Technology has democratized investing, journalism, transportation, lodging and countless other industries.

ProofPilot is removing barriers so that anyone with a valid question can run a study. With more studies, we have better information on which to make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t.

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