The time and money required for clinical studies might add up. Researchers postulated that collecting urine samples online through social media recruiting and participant engagement could reach a huge population in a short amount of time at a low cost. 

They compared urine sample collection times and costs for participants recruited both online and in a clinical setting. During this time, financial information was gathered from invoices and budget documents to reflect the true cost of doing the study. The information was then examined using descriptive statistics. The illness sample was collected in 1 of 3 pee cups included in the collection package. Of the entire 3,576 sample cups sent out (1,192 illness + 2,384 control), only 1,254 (695 c were returned. A total of 305 samples were taken between the 2 clinical sites. 

The cost per sample for samples acquired online was $81.45 as opposed to $398.14 for samples recruited in a clinic, despite the fact that the initial cost of online recruitment was greater. In the midst of the widespread COVID-19 outbreak, investigators recruited participants online and collected contactless urine samples from throughout the country. The results were compared to those obtained from clinical samples. Urine samples can be collected promptly, efficiently, and at a cost per sample that was 20% of what it would have been in a walk-in clinic, all while avoiding the danger of COVID-19 transmission.

Source: auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000339