The Smart Platform

APPROACH: Smart is a digital epidemiological and citizen science platform that enables real-time engagement with citizens to leverage big data for digital health solutions and social innovation. The ability of Smart Platform projects to implement community-engaged initiatives enables participation of citizens across the life course and as well as data linkages of behavioural, administrative, and healthcare data. Smart Platform also enables the conceptualization of virtual care and precision medicine applications and digital decision-making dashboards that can be co-commercialized with communities. Operationalization and governance of all Smart Platform studies is informed by Citizen Scientist Advisory Councils, which are represented by citizen scientists across the sex, gender, and sociodemographic spectrum.

METHODOLOGY: Researchers affiliated with the DEPtH Lab engage with citizen scientists and patients via their own digital devices (e.g. smartphones) to implement multiple studies with varied study designs (e.g. cross-sectional, longitudinal, randomized trials, natural experiments, population health interventions) across different jurisdictions within and outside Canada.

RATIONALE: The Smart Platform provides a way to engage with participants (i.e., citizen scientists) in real-time to capture rich health behavioural and outcome data. More importantly, a range of behavioural and outcome data (including physical activity, addictions, and mental health) are being used to inform upstream preventative policies. For example, the Smart Platform has obtained data related to marijuana use and perceptions before, during, and after legalization in Canada, which would help inform policies across jurisdictions in collaboration with primary stakeholders.