The clinical research industry has yet to fully embrace information technology (IT) for informed consent purposes, even though it is used indispensably in our everyday lives and in other areas of clinical research and healthcare. This paper presents findings of a meta-narrative literature review to discuss the potential for IT to improve the quality of clinical research informed consent. The review reveals three main rationales for including IT in research consent. First, in the current context consent documents frequently fail to be effective decision aids for patients, and the lack of patient centricity in the process. Second, social media provides opportunities for patients to consult with a broader community during research consent to seek broader support, and potential to participate in creating a more patient centric process. Third, multimedia tools provide opportunities for improved patient education, engagement and decision making during research consent. IT offers opportunities to achieve more meaningful research consent, but more research is needed to create an evidence base, policies and economic analyses on the return on investment of using IT in the process.
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