University scientists are appealing to people across Scotland to sign up for the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE).
SHARE is a confidential register of people who are interested in hearing about medical research projects taking place in Scotland that may be relevant to them and in which they may wish to be involved.
One of the biggest challenges in conducting clinical research is finding volunteers who are willing to take part.
People registering with SHARE give NHS Scotland permission to securely access their medical records to check whether they may be suitable to participate in a research study.
Increasing the number of people involved in SHARE will make it easier for medical researchers to test much-needed treatments, therapies and cures. Those on the register may be contacted about relevant research projects in their area - at which stage it is up to them whether they choose to participate.
SHARE will match people to medical research projects that are relevant for them. It only takes a minute to sign up online and you can opt out at any time just as easily.
Participation in the research can be as simple as filling in a lifestyle questionnaire about diet and exercise.
Those with a specific illness may be approached to take part in a clinical trial for a new therapy.
People with no significant health problems may also be invited to take part in research that requires healthy people.
People have a range of reasons for joining the register. Some may join because they have a particular condition themselves. Others are healthy but have a family member who has been ill and they hope to help with research.
The Scotland-wide initiative is funded by the Scottish Government and led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee.
Having a large group of people who are willing to get involved will help high quality studies to produce the best possible evidence about new treatments and services for patients in Scotland.