The eBioMe platform is a website that accomplishes several aims: biobank recruitment, digital research, and serving as an informational center for BioMe participants.
The eBioMe platform pioneers an electronic consent and registration process for the BioMe Biobank. The eBioMe system recruits participants from Mount Sinai Health System’s population, leveraging Mount Sinai’s MyChart system in order to do so. Once potential participants are contacted, they are taken to the eBioMe website where they can choose to enroll in the BioMe study. The eBioMe site assesses each potential participant’s eligibility and walks them through an introduction to the BioMe program and what participating will entail. The potential participant is then presented with the opportunity to electronically consent to the study or opt-out. The Center for Digital Health team utilized audiovisual components and drew on the experience of health communication specialists in order to make the educational and e-consent process interesting and easy to understand for the average user.
The eBioMe platform serves as an informational hub for BioMe digital participants. The platform provides a central location where they can review study and consent information, find out where and how to donate their blood sample, and complete all of the digital study surveys.
About the Study
The BioMe Biobank was developed by researchers at the Institute for Personalized Medicine at Mount Sinai to generate a large collection of DNA and plasma samples, as well as genomic data and phenotype/family history/lifestyle data. Participants who agree to take part in the BioMe study will be asked to donate a blood sample and complete a survey about their medical and family history. The de-identified, donated data is then used by researchers in the Mount Sinai community to discover better treatments and look at the complexity of disease at the most basic level through “molecular” research studies. Since September 2007, 35,000 Mount Sinai Health System patients have donated samples to the BioMe Biobank.
The Center for Digital Health will use the eBioMe platform to conduct important research via a three-armed study during the electronic consent process and through electronic surveys administered to eBioMe digital participants. When potential Biobank participants enter the eBioMe site, they are randomly selected into one of three different site experiences: a text-only site, a site with videos and text, and a site that lets the participant choose between text and video content. The Center for Digital Health team will analyze consent and registration rates along with the participants’ comprehension of the program in order to determine what method of delivering information is most effective. The eBioMe platform also administers digital surveys to participants over a two-month period of time. These surveys collect information about the user’s health habits, use of technology, comprehension of the study and more. Data collected will be used to quantify and determine feasibility of recruitment, enrollment, retention and implied participant studies will be used to quantify and determine feasibility of recruitment, enrollment, retention and implied participant acceptability of electronic informed consent and electronic automation of study activities.
Who can Participate?
In order to donate a sample and participate in the BioMe Biobank, you must be an existing Mount Sinai Health System patient over the age of 18 who can comprehend English and is not a prisoner. Currently, in order to participate in BioMe via the electronic eBioMe platform, you must be specifically recruited via your MyChart portal. See “How to Join the Study” for more information.
How to Join the Study
At this time, only invited participants are able to join this study. You may have already received an invitation link in your MyChart inbox if you are a Mount Sinai MyChart user. If you are already an eBioMe participant but have not registered yet, you can use the invitation link in your MyChart to continue.
If you would like to learn about joining the BioMe Biobank in person, please contact the BioMe staff to learn more. We very much appreciate your interest and contribution to science!