Crowd-sourced Clinical Trials on the Horizon?


National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas Insel looks at the models of some of the world’s most successful new enterprises such as Airbnb, Facebook and Uber, and asks how similar internet-driven and crowd-sourced approaches are being applied, and could be applied, to medical and psychiatric research.

“Research driven by patients, or maybe I should say ‘volunteers,’ could create a research platform that might not look like academic research or private sector research,” writes Insel. “As people share their experiences with treatments that work or don’t work, they may see patterns that were never evident in randomized clinical trials.”

Director’s Blog: Something Interesting is Happening (NIMH, June 5, 2015)


  1. Isn’t this basically what Healy is trying to do with Rxisk already. And the Internet is already a wealth of health information for patients, albeit not always reliable, and very often contradictory, information. But I’m quite certain putting the psychiatrists or NAMI in charge of all such information would not be wise. We already know much of the fraudulent information on the web about “mental health” is their propaganda.

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