Although electronic data capture (EDC) systems were initially built to be central data storage solutions for paper-based data collection (with data entry by research staff), over the last decade, the direct entry of study data has become more common with improvements in technology, expansion of reliable internet and cellular data networks, and increasing use of mobile devices for data collection. With the centralization of study data, studies benefit from faster data access and analysis, easier data management, the ability to conduct remote monitoring, fewer data entry errors, less missing data and collaboration across geographically disparate sites.
Yet, organizations must often weigh these benefits against the large time and cost investment to implement and maintain most large-scale, fully customizable EDC systems. Others, especially companies conducting smaller scale trials, opt for an entry-level off-the-shelf system that is less expensive and easy to design and implement, but sacrifice features/functions and the ability to scale to larger trials later. Then, a transition to larger, more complex trials necessitates moving to a different EDC.
Therefore, the EDC choice is often viewed as either an expensive system that takes too much time to implement, uses too many resources to maintain and might not deliver sufficient ROI or a less expensive system that might not have all the required functionality and has limited use.
However, there is another choice. A system that is easy to design and manage can also have the flexibility and features of fully customizable EDC systems. Current technologies allow for point-and-click and drag-and-drop design modules, eliminating the need for programming and enabling fast setup. The use of reusable global libraries and forms based on standards such as CDASH from CDISC requires less time to implement and can be used from study to study. Built-in, extendable configurations allow enhancements later to support different trial designs. When these capabilities are wrapped around a robust, established EDC core, organizations benefit from the lower cost and designability of off-the-shelf systems AND the flexibility and scalability of large-scale systems.
Start building your own studies today in a system with the features and functionality needed for efficient study conduct and high-quality data. Learn more about Bioclinica EDC Solo, a self-service implementation of Bioclinica EDC.