Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clinical Research Projects and Mobile Handheld PDA Solutions

This article discusses the use of mobile handheld PDA solutions (Palm Treos) in a clinical research environment.

Company Overview:
Craig Hospital is a non-profit spinal cord and brain trauma rehabilitation and research hospital. Based in Denver Colorado, Craig Hospital has been treating brain and spinal cord trauma patients since 1956 and has treated over 25,500 patients.

Research Challenge:
Craig Hospital recently received a government grant to perform research on 8 different forms of rehabilitation in order to understand what techniques are most effective for each of the 8 disciplines. Craig Hospital teamed up with 5 other research hospitals (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Shepherd Center, Mount Sinai, Carolinas Rehabilitation, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital) in order to make the findings representative of spinal cord injury rehabilitation practices nationwide. The data needed to be collected and sent to a main database at an outside location to be analyzed. ISIS/ICOR (International Severity Information Services/Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research) was the organization selected to perform the data analysis and to maintain the database to which all collected information was to be sent. The problem was that the hospitals and patients were all in different geographic locations, and the patient care happened in a mobile working environment which made the collection and secure synchronization of the research data to a central database a challenge.

MobileDataforce Solution:
MobileDataforce created a mobile handheld application for each of the 8 different types of rehabilitation. Each healthcare provider was issued a handheld HP iPAQ HX 2190 PDA running Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system and asked to record rehabilitation progress with each of their patients in the study. There were approximately 250 mobile devices across the 6 hospitals.

By using a mobile software application rather than using paper forms Craig Hospital was able to:

  • Save data entry time
  • Save the costs of shipping and storing paper forms
  • Ensure data accuracy through the use of data validation features
  • Pre-load patients’ names and information onto the mobile device to save time and ensure accuracy
  • Speed up research and analysis by downloading data directly from the handheld devices to the central research database

By selecting MobileDataforce’s PointSync Mobility Platform and professional services, Craig Hospital obtained a complete enterprise mobility platform and an experienced mobile software development team. MobileDataforce developed 8 mobile clinical research software applications that allowed for the 6 hospitals to capture information quickly, in real time, from all across the United States and synchronized it into one central research database. This allowed for research and analysis to be conducted on the data in near-real time.

MobileDataforce implemented software security features to ensure patient privacy and compliance to industry rules. MobileDataforce also helped Craig Hospital select the appropriate mobile handheld devices for their data collection requirements.

Craig hospital was able to collect research data on 8 different rehabilitation disciplines from 6 different hospitals across the country and synchronize the data into one centralized database using the PointSync Mobility Platform from MobileDataforce, Craig Hospital saved time and ensured data accuracy by designing a custom mobile application for clinical research with the help of MobileDataforce. MobileDataforce assists organizations around the world mobilize business and field data collection processes. For additional information please visit our website at:

You can find more information on these studies here.