How a Software Platform Can Simplify Clinical Research and Improve Data Gathering

Published December 16, 2019

Clinical research is vital to discovering more effective treatments, preventing diseases and improving overall well being. Having the right software with tools that improve data collection at every stage of the process can make the difference for patient outcomes in the long run.

Clinical research is a division of health science research that investigates human health problems. It involves not just discovering the factors that contribute to disease development, but also determining the safety and effectiveness of interventions such as medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens.

Longitudinal vs. Cross Sectional Studies

Clinical research extends beyond medical information and often includes socio-economic and other information. Data can be gathered either using longitudinal studies or cross sectional studies. Here are two main differences between these two methods.

  1. Individual patients vs. societal trends. Longitudinal studies use repeated measures to track outcomes for individuals over a period of time. By contrast, cross sectional studies test for multiple variables in a given population over a period of time. Cross sectional studies can examine, for example, how societal attitudes towards health have shifted from a “sickness” to a “wellness” orientation.
  2. Same sample vs. new sets of samples. Whereas longitudinal studies focus on the same sample at several points in time to track changes in the lives of those individuals, cross sectional studies gather data from new samples to discover aggregate-level change over time.

Typically, the clinical research data management within a study involves collection, cleaning, and management of participant data in compliance with regulatory standards. The goal is to gather the maximum amount of high-quality data while keeping the number of errors and missing data as low as possible.

The Advantages of Software Platforms for Cross Sectional Data Management

Many clinical researchers have begun to use clinical research data management software platforms to maintain an audit trail. Software also greatly assists in the administration of a study and can even improve the quality of data gathered.

  • Cleaner data. Software can help researchers provide easy identification and resolution of data discrepancies.
  • Standardization. In research studies with multiple sites, software enables standardized data management between sites and can handle the large amounts of data collected for the study.
  • Better measurements. Innovations in software have also enabled data to be collected in new methods including directly from study participants to develop “real-world” evidence in clinical studies. For example, Ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) are behaviour and experience self-reports collected in real-time, in subjects’ natural environments. These assessments have been designed to minimize recall bias and maximize validity in measurements. These innovations show promise in clinical psychology of health and health decisions.

The current software platforms developed for clinical research are developed for pharmaceutical clinical trials are expensive and need sophisticated information technology infrastructure to function. Lumedi EDC exists so that any clinical researcher can conduct their studies with all the benefits a software platform can provide.

Why Lumedi EDC?

Lumedi EDC is a simple yet powerful clinical research data management software platform, developed in collaboration with clinicians and researchers. Built for clinical research studies of any size, our software tools support better and faster patient outcomes through:

  • Versatility. Lumedi EDC supports both longitudinal and cross sectional studies.
  • Customizable features. Both qualitative and quantitative data can be collected through the questionnaire feature. This allows researchers to develop custom measurement instruments to be administered in the clinic or sent to study participants for self-reporting.
  • Integration with other tools. In addition to data collection through questionnaires, the Lumedi EDC team has experience integrating medical devices and EMR systems for additional data types involved in the study.
  • Collaboration. Lumedi EDC enables multi-site studies. Multiple researchers can use the same system to collect and can instantly share in a uniform manner to prevent any inconsistencies in data collection and improve data quality. Instant data visualization through study and participant level dashboards allows researchers easily identify and resolve data discrepancies in real-time.
  • Communication across disciplines. The integrated platform allows researchers to connect directly with other researchers, clinicals, health care professionals, caregivers, patients, and policy makers.

To learn more about how this platform can improve data reliability and thoroughness in your next research study, contact us today.