'CTRL': an online, Dynamic Consent and participant engagement platform working towards solving the complexities of consent in genomic research.
Haas MA., Teare H., Prictor M., Ceregra G., Vidgen ME., Bunker D., Kaye J., Boughtwood T.
The complexities of the informed consent process for participating in research in genomic medicine are well-documented. Inspired by the potential for Dynamic Consent to increase participant choice and autonomy in decision-making, as well as the opportunities for ongoing participant engagement it affords, we wanted to trial Dynamic Consent and to do so developed our own web-based application (web app) called CTRL (control). This paper documents the design and development of CTRL, for use in the Australian Genomics study: a health services research project building evidence to inform the integration of genomic medicine into mainstream healthcare. Australian Genomics brought together a multi-disciplinary team to develop CTRL. The design and development process considered user experience; security and privacy; the application of international standards in data sharing; IT, operational and ethical issues. The CTRL tool is now being offered to participants in the study, who can use CTRL to keep personal and contact details up to date; make consent choices (including indicate preferences for return of results and future research use of biological samples, genomic and health data); follow their progress through the study; complete surveys, contact the researchers and access study news and information. While there are remaining challenges to implementing Dynamic Consent in genomic research, this study demonstrates the feasibility of building such a tool, and its ongoing use will provide evidence about the value of Dynamic Consent in large-scale genomic research programs.