Interactive Informed Consent

Informed consent forms designed to obtain biological material (e.g. blood, saliva, & hair) form potential study participants have notoriously utilized divisive language that is both broad and confusing to obtain samples and avoid re-consenting patients for follow up studies.

Examples include:

1.) Blanket language - “All potential risks, side effects, and alternatives have been explained and understood by the patient.”

2.) Acronyms - SNV = single nucleotide variant.

We believe that the most powerful form of innovation comes from the creative recombination of ideas spanning diverse fields. For example relating words and concepts in maps have been used to help children with autism communicate via symbols on a tablet i.e. semiology. Using this approach, we have begun to recognize the benefit of a visual communication engine/system to aid the non-scientific community in understanding western ideas in medicine. As a result we are working on interactive informed consent form apps for tablets designed in Choctaw, Hawaiian, or Navajo including culturally-relevant analogies and symbolism.



"If my Grandmother can’t understand it then it doesn't belong on a consent form"

-Calrita Lefthand-Begay (Navajo Ph.D., Professor, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Washington)