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Web-based research strategies

The web-based research strategies used in HIV-Medic online and LHIVE Healthy open up a new and highly promising avenue. Essentially, all the steps of a traditional randomized control trial have been transposed to an online research strategy: recruitment, selection, randomization, measurement, and participant follow-up. For example, during the recruitment phase a virtual assistant personified in a video accompanies the person to the research project to complete the steps required before beginning the web-based study. The IT platform that supports all these operations has a feature that allows creating questionnaires (outcome measures) and a database where all the answers of the participants are collected. These databases are then forwarded to the researchers and statisticians. This simplifies the coding and data validation stage where several checks must be performed to reduce errors.