Yizhao Ni, PhD.

Yizhao Ni, PhD

Finding families willing to participate in medical studies has been a constant challenge for the research community. Now, a computer algorithm may make the job easier.

Yizhao Ni, PhD, and colleagues in Biomedical Informatics have developed an algorithm that helps predict who is more likely to participate in a study, and why. Current recruitment rates hover around 60 percent of eligible patients, but this tool could boost participation rates to 72 percent or beyond, according to findings published online April 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The algorithm is not yet ready for clinical use, but eventually may help some studies make faster progress while reducing the need to close studies when too few people participate.