What is an Electronic Data Capture System and Where is it Used?

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the public is paying close attention to clinical trials. Researchers are under pressure to produce results for vaccines quickly, making the information they collect during clinical trials more important.

This is just one way that an electronic data capture (EDC) system can help researchers. Every day, researchers conduct trials for a broad range of drugs. The median cost of a clinical trial is $19 million.

You can reduce costs and time significantly by using an EDC. Read on to discover what it is and why it matters to research.

What Is an Electronic Data Capture System?

This is a software program used by life science researchers to keep track of the data they collect during clinical trials. Researchers can create data workflows, processes, and calculations with the data they collect.

Electronic data capture systems moved beyond clinical trials to different types of organizations. These systems focus more on managing documents to improve efficiency. Data capture companies like ScanOptics work with businesses, governments, education institutions, and human resources departments.  

Benefits of Using an EDC

The main reason why researchers should use electronic data capture systems is time. The other is accuracy.

Clinical studies are conducted in four phases of research. The process takes years and many drugs don’t reach the third and fourth phases.

It’s easy for researchers to keep pages and pages of handwritten notes. Have you ever tried to read your own handwriting after a long period of time? It’s hard to do and can impact the accuracy of the results.

When you document your information in an EDC, you have accurate, real-time information. This is extremely helpful if you’re working with a team of researchers across the world.

Since clinical trials are expensive and there is no guarantee that they will be successful, efficiency matters. The amount of data collected during a trial is tremendous.

An EDC gives you the ability to store and manage your data so you can ensure its integrity. The end result is that you have limited the amount of data entry errors.

EDCs help you comply with regulations. Software providers make sure that their solutions are secure. They also provide backup services, so you don’t lose critical information.

Many clinical trials are still conducted using paper-based methods. As more people discover the benefits of using an EDC in their work, they are gaining popularity.

Make the Most of Research Data

In a data-driven world, you need to have the ability to collect and disseminate information instantly. For a clinical trial that goes through many phases over several years, an electronic data capture system is a lifeline.

It can help researchers manage participants at an individual level while keeping their data secure. They also lower the costs of clinical trials by improving efficiency.

Be sure to visit the Technology section of this site for more ways to implement technology in your work.