Using a chat-based informed consent tool in large-scale genomic research

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA




chatbot; genetic counseling; genomics; informed consent; large-scale research


OBJECTIVE: We implemented a chatbot consent tool to shift the time burden from study staff in support of a national genomics research study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We created an Institutional Review Board-approved script for automated chat-based consent. We compared data from prospective participants who used the tool or had traditional consent conversations with study staff. RESULTS: Chat-based consent, completed on a user's schedule, was shorter than the traditional conversation. This did not lead to a significant change in affirmative consents. Within affirmative consents and declines, more prospective participants completed the chat-based process. A quiz to assess chat-based consent user understanding had a high pass rate with no reported negative experiences. CONCLUSION: Our report shows that a structured script can convey important information while realizing the benefits of automation and burden shifting. Analysis suggests that it may be advantageous to use chatbots to scale this rate-limiting step in large research projects.


Genomics and Precision Medicine