Meet the Medicines—A Crowdsourced Approach to Collecting and Communicating Information about Essential Medicines Online

Yaela N. Golumbic*, Kymberley R. Scroggie, Ciara R. Kenneally, Jiarun Lin, Mitchell T. Blyth, Genevieve Firmer, Peter J. Rutledge, Alice Motion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains a list of medicines and medical devices, essential medicines, that should be available to everyone, to form a functioning healthcare system. Yet, many of these medicines remain out of reach for people around the world. One significant barrier to improving the accessibility of essential medicines is a paucity of information about both the extent and causes of this problem. E$$ENTIAL MEDICINE$ (E$$) is a citizen science project designed to investigate this deficit of information by recruiting members of the public to find, validate, compile and share information on essential medicines through an open, online database. Herein, we report an approach to crowdsourcing both the collection of information on the accessibility of essential medicines and the subsequent communication of these findings to diverse audiences. The Meet the Medicines initiative encourages members of the public to share information from the E$$ database, in a short video format appropriate for social media. This communication details the design and implementation of our crowdsourced approach and strategies for recruiting and supporting participants. We discuss data on participant engagement, consider the benefits and challenges of this approach and suggest ways to promote crowdsourcing practices for social and scientific good.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4242
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • citizen science
  • essential medicines
  • science communication
  • social media

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