Clinical research projects benefit from Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
Scientific research in medicine is marked by high investments and extensive regulations (such as for approval of new treatment options and medical products). Comprehensive information and data are collected in clinical studies, to later be condensed into quality-based results. Even in 2015, data collection is usually still performed on paper. For this reason, data capture and evaluation procedures are costly in terms of time and money, as well as prone to errors.
In the future, direct Electronic Data Capture (EDC) will replace the hand-written form of documentation. Currently, standards are being developed in the Electronic Data Capture (EDC) area that will be synchronized with EMR systems. The objective is to only need to record the clinical data once in the Electronic Medical Record and then be able to access it in anonymized form for external databases within clinical research projects.
This requires identical Health IT standards.
- Terminology databases for the description and classification of clinical observations
- Digital interfaces for communicating between the heterogeneous HIT systems (EMR, EDC, and digital research databases)
Image data and its interpretation also plays an increasing role in this area. This also gives rise to the need for Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) to be integrated in structured clinical research.
EDC concepts are currently still in their early stages of development. As EMR systems become more popular, however, EDC concepts will proportionally also gain more importance, presenting great market potential.