Munity: A Community for Health Research Democratisation

SDG-Focus

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SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

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GLC Members

Tiarnach McDermott,
Elise Racine,
Vicky Mulema,
Virginie Cauderay,
Nobel Aka,
Chidinma Kalu

Munity is a community empowerment and equitable information exchange platform which supports individuals in leveraging their health data to instigate and promote research-informed healthcare change. Munity enables individuals to reclaim ownership of their health data, selecting research projects with which to share information, and develops community knowledge through sharing research-based insights and guidance from trusted sources.

Munity: A Community for Health Research Democratisation

Whilst the public is constantly generating health-related data, such data - as an ever more valuable commodity - is increasingly gatekept, and utilised without transparency, by large corporations. As such, this data is often unavailable to institutions and researchers. Consequently, healthcare research is often based on, and reflects, limited selections of the population. Moreover, the resultant research is often published in venues and forms inaccessible to the general public. These issues culminate in a lack of public voice in health research and decision-making.

Munity, a community empowerment and equitable information exchange platform, seeks to remedy these issues through supporting individuals in reclaiming ownership of, and leveraging, their health data to instigate and promote research-informed change in healthcare and offers access to resources and information to support public health and well-being. Munity affords users the opportunity to select health research projects with which to (anonymously) share their data, and enables access to research-based healthcare information, insights, and guidance developed therethrough (researchers are obliged to share research insights, and are incentivised to engage with the community through a rewards system). Thus, the platform promotes transparent, representative health research, developed community health and well-being knowledge, and provides a forum in which communities may mobilise in advocating for research-informed healthcare change and reform.

Munity is foreseen as having a number of impacts. Firstly, the platform will democratise health research through facilitating greater public involvement and representation in research processes. Secondly, Munity fosters greater research transparency, offering a platform where researchers and the general public may engage and incentivising the sharing of research-based information, insights, and guidance. All of this ultimately empowers communities, the third area of impact, in taking greater control of their personal data and its use, developing health and well-being knowledge, and advocating for healthcare change and reform in an informed manner.

Munity: A Community for Health Research Democratisation