RandomiseMe: Our Fun New Website That Lets Anyone Design And Run A Randomised Controlled Trial.

Ben Goldacre | Bad Science | December 16, 2013

Catching up and blogging this year’s activities: here’s a fun website I made with my friend Carl Reynolds, fellow doctor behind NHS HackDays (where nerds who love the NHS build useful tools). RandomiseMe lets you design and run randomised controlled trials, either on yourself, or on your friends. You can do a trial to see if your new trainers let you run faster than your old ones, find out if cheese gives you nightmares, or club together with friends and work out which kind of gloopy abdomen baste is best at preventing stretch marks in pregnancy.

I think it’s useful, in the sense that you can use it to design RCTs that help answer questions that are relevant to your life. It’s also a good way of thinking through the strengths and weaknesses of trial design. For example, it would be nice to do a blinded trial of different running shoes, but that would either be very expensive, or involve falling over a lot. Does the absence of blinding matter? It depends on the trial. If you want to do a trial on different strategies to prevent stretch marks, what outcome are you going to measure, how will you standardise it, will you ask people to post pictures? And so on.