Monday, January 14, 2008

Facebook and Research Ethics

This is a juxtaposition of two things I noticed recently associating social networks and various issues in research ethics.

The first is this thoughtful piece from the PredictER blog: Biomedical Research Ethics 2.0: MySpace and Pediatrics which explores some of the issues that might emerge as more and more medical information is shared by users on these sites.

The second where the delightful picture above was drawn from is an application on Facebook called "I'm a Guinea Pig!" and is described as:

Do you wish to help furthering medicine, while benefiting from state-of-the-art medical care and possibly from a remuneration ? Become a "guinea pig" for medical research!

The spectrum of experiments is very large and includes psychological tests, medical imaging studies, medical equipement testing, genetic tests, drug trials, and evaluation of the safety and efficacy of cosmetics.

Feel free to add Volterys's application and fill your profile in our database. You'll be able to browse offers from research labs. Your contacting details will only be communicated to a researcher upon your approval. At any time will you be able to decline an offer, withdraw your application for a research or unsubscribe from Volterys.

You can see the app for yourself here: Guinea Pig though only if you have a facebook account of your own.

Presently only usable in the EU, while I admire the company's inventiveness obviously it has to be questioned whether this is the best place to be recruited for medical research...

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