All universities within the UK and globally are researching on a variety of subjects. Typically, an area of research will have a team of researchers, comprised of research fellows, senior lecturers and PHD students.
Importance of clinical research
Clinical research is important for the benefit of our society. The purpose behind clinical research is to identify the cellular nature of ourselves to foresee the reasons behind conditions such as cancer and neuro-diseases as well as to understand preventative measures and cures behind such conditions. Furthermore, assessing the behavior of cells and our internal make up allows us to understand them more, the better understanding we have, the better equipped we are to deal with disturbances.
The involvement of data in clinical research is different to the data in market research surveys or patient experience consultations. The latter deals with quantitative and qualitative data, which is processed and analysed and held in a single location, with the former there are additional things to consider.
Clinical research studies last for up to a number of years, hence there is an involvement of large amounts of data. Adding to this a research team may be collaborating with a number of other teams. For example, a European study on prostate cancer may require teams to be stationed and working together at a variety of EU nations, which will require input of data onto a centralised database.
The result of this is that there is a high demand for a strong processing capacity required in order to input the data onto the database.
Speaking from our experience, what has transpired is that many research teams have not foreseen the dilemma of getting all data from the paper forms onto their system, which has resulted in the PHD students who are a part of the research to do the manual entry. Manual entry is time consuming and error prone, however, truth be told student don’t want to do it! Researchers and students alike are involved in a specific research area because they are passionate about that area and evidently they want to spend as much time as possible studying the data rather than processing it. Automating the entry of data, will ensure data is fed into the required system much faster with no comprises on accuracy, and of course, eliminates any manual entry to be done.
It is important to assess the environment in which the data is to be collected, as perhaps it may be easier to use a specific device to collect the data instead of paper forms. For example, if data is to be collected remotely, it will be benefit to use a digital pen to collect the data, which has a built in camera attached to it. The camera takes pictures of the form as it is being completed, which can be uploaded onto the database. A unique advantage of a digital pen is that the data can be held in it securely if there is no reliable internet connection before uploading onto database, furthermore if the paper is lost it means the data is not. On the other hand, if researchers do not want to be carrying paper, tablets are useful in which data can be inputted and sent directly to the database. However, a constant and reliable internet connection is required. Click here to learn more about the different types of data capture devices.
As stated, the purpose of the research is to learn about something and gain a better understanding of it. The most effective way to achieve this is by visualising the data so that researchers extract valuable conclusions and insights to report on.
At a basic level the dashboard can perform pattern recognition as well as theming of data based on text and sentiment analytics. Furthermore the dashboard can perform a variety of complex cross analysis; its flexibility means it can ingest any sort of data.
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