2015 Webinar: IRB Review of mHealth Research

Overview  |  Faculty  |  Certificates


In recent years, digital and mobile health (mHealth) technologies have increased dramatically with the proliferation of smartphones, apps, and wearable data devices  where users generate data. Rapid, widespread collection of personal health data from a broad cross-section of individuals is now possible on a scale unthinkable only a few years ago. As our society as a whole and the research community adopts these technologies, IRBs need to anticipate and address the challenges in achieving compliance and protecting human subjects in mHealth research protocols while also providing an environment where development can flourish.  

Using their experience developing and reviewing the Asthma Health app study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presenters reviewed considerations and best practices for informed consent, study design, data security, and subject confidentiality in the context of mHealth research, and provided an overview of recent accomplishments and future challenges in mHealth research oversight.  

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, attendees were able to:

  • Articulate the complexities of informed consent in the context of  mobile apps, and guide investigators in designing multiple modes of consent
  • Implement strategic and operational best practices for IRB review of mHealth studies at your institution
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively with researchers, developers, and IT professionals around study design, data security, and subject confidentiality
  • Understand the landscape of mHealth research review: what has been accomplished, and what challenges remain

Who should attend?

This intermediate-level webinar was of interest to IRB members, chairs, and staff as well as human research protections program staff, researchers, and developers.


Jeremy BlockJeremy Block, PhD, MPP, is an assistant professor of population health science and policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is also a chairman/vice-chairman of clinical research ethics committees across hospitals within the Mount Sinai Health System. Jeremy is primarily interested in the intersection of science and technology with society and public policy. His background includes advising at the federal, state, and local level on a variety of science and technology relevant fields including: green procurement; human research subject protections; chemical and biological weapons; emerging properties and markets with science and technology components; and research systems at public and private universities. In addition Jeremy has been involved in technology development in the areas of virtual reality as well as mobile health applications. He has a background in teaching ethics in public policy, bioethics, and science and technology policy at both the undergraduate and graduate level at Duke University and now as an adjunct professor at Baruch College CUNY. He holds a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biology, Master’s in Public Policy, and PhD in Biochemistry from Duke University.

John Wilbanks 2015John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks. Previously, Wilbanks worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, served as the first assistant director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and led to acquisition the bioinformatics company Incellico, Inc., and was executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons. In February 2013, in response to a We the People petition that was spearheaded by Wilbanks and signed by 65,000 people, the U.S. government announced a plan to open up taxpayer-funded research data and make it available for free. Wilbanks holds a BA in philosophy from Tulane University and also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne. 

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance will be made available at the conclusion of the webinar. To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

If you would like to receive a certificate of attendance for a previous PRIM&R educational program, please email info@primr.org or call 617.423.4112, ext. 0.

CE Credit for Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) Recertification
Webinar participants holding the CIP® credential who wish to apply credits from this webinar toward CIP® recertification may submit the Certificate of Attendance they received upon completing the online evaluation as documentation of their participation. Participation in this 90-minute webinar counts as 1.5 CE credit hours.

For recertification by CE, CIPs must complete 30 documented hours of continuing education. At least 15 of the 30 hours must either carry credits issued by a recognized accrediting body or have received advanced recognition from the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CCIP). Credits from PRIM&R webinars have received such advance recognition, and may be counted towards these 15 hours.

Additional information about CIP® recertification can be found here.