Back from the OpenClinica German Users Group Meeting

Loebe_900Last month, OpenClinica users throughout Germany converged in Berlin for the very first German OpenClinica Users Group Workshop entitled: OpenClinica – an Open-Source Clinical Data Management System for Clinical and Translational Research. This was held at the TMF (Technology, Methods, and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research) facility.

Brought about by the efforts of Matthias Löbe, the goals of the workshop were to gain experience, insight, and give back to the strong community of OpenClinica users in Germany. Löbe offered the following insight when asked about his motivations for organizing this group:

“It turns out that there are many locations throughout Germany with OpenClinica experience along with many developing adaptations or extensions. But so far, none of the 70 registered workshop participants knew of the activities carried out by others. The workshop has opened a whole new perspective.”

Goodwin_900My colleague, Alicia Goodwin, who has been working with OpenClinica since 2007, was invited to speak at the conference. I interviewed Alicia after she returned to share insight on the event. 

What were you looking forward to the most at the workshop?
I really wanted to meet the OpenClinica users and learn about how OpenClinica is used in Germany. The workshop had about 70 participants, representing seasoned users and developers to clinical site personnel looking for more information. There are several very active and brilliant OpenClinica community members in Germany, such as Mattias, Gerben Rienk, Philipp Leusmann, Henrik Dittman, Christian Hänsel, to name just a few. I was excited to hear about the wide range of work they are involved with.

Was the entire workshop spoken in German?
Yes, it was. Thankfully, I have enough of the language experience that I was able to understand most of what was being said.

You were invited to speak at the workshop. What was your talk about?
I spoke about the vital users and developers in our community and their role in OpenClinica development, innovation, and global support. I also talked about some of the development tools that are used. JIRA was a big topic as it really underscores our commitment to transparency, our rigorous SDLC, and our open source ecosystem.

What kind of technical information or issues were discussed?
A key theme was around the value that could be obtained from increasing portability and scalability extending th RESTFUL APIs and reusing study elements such as OIDs, rules, metadata across multiple systems. Essentially, looking at architecture in the future.

Was there anything that surprised you at the workshop?
One of the really cool things that I saw was a project called OpenClinica Big Data, developed by Dr. Thomas Deserno from Aachen University. OpenClinica Big Data is an OpenClinica extension specifically designed to handle some of the unique challenges associated with uploading and managing large image file sets. The system utilizes OpenClinica web services, allowing users to make calls from OpenClinica to retrieve image data from the Big Data repository. This module enriches OpenClinica with a convenient and context-related transfer of binary large objects (blobs), such as biomedical images or signals.

I was also very impressed with the overall enthusiasm and turn-out. Hopefully this initial workshop will encourage ongoing interaction among German-speaking OpenClinica users.

© TMF – Images property of TMF

Calling all OpenClinica Users – 2013 Usage Survey

We need your help! To effectively gather information on the worldwide use of the OpenClinica software platform, your input is crucial. Please take this very short survey and we will donate $2, on your behalf, to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We will share the level of support for St. Jude’s after we wrap up.

TakeSurvey

Thank you for representing the growing OpenClinica community and for your part in making the world a healthier place.
» Rob

OpenClinica Central User Training – Brussels – October 15-18

Don’t miss OpenClinica’s Central User training course in Brussels, from October 15 – 18!

Register now, seats are filling up!

Register for Training

About the course:

Our most popular course, OpenClinica “Central User” Training delivers a 4-day intensive experience for people who need to learn about using OpenClinica from all types of user perspectives. This course is ideal for someone who wants to become an OpenClinica super user or will be responsible for training/teaching/supporting their colleagues. Classes are highly interactive and incorporate exercises and tailored instruction. We also regularly organize private classes as needed.

Register at:

https://www.openclinica.com/open-enrollment-training

We hope to see you in Belgium!

Warm Regards,
The OpenClinica Team

Webinar: Tablet-based Offline EDC for OpenClinica – July 24

Offline Data Capture for OpenClinica – Demo of Mi-Forms Tablet Integration with OpenClinica

Date: July 24, 2013
Time: 2:00PM – 3:00PM EST

Attend this webinar to see, first hand, the use of tablets in offline, disconnected settings to capture and verify CRF data, and transmit them back into OpenClinica. See how the Mi-Forms/OpenClinica integration allows for easy design, deployment and verification of data at the point of capture.

RegisterButtonAt this webinar you’ll discover how to:

  • Enable multi-site offline data capture
  • Reduce query rates & speed trial completion
  • Cut clinical trial costs with mobile data capture

Presenters:
Ben Baumann, OpenClinica COO
Chris DiPierro, Mi-Co Director of Software Development
Gautham Pandiyan, Mi-Co VP of Sales & Marketing

OC13 Wrap Up – The Fruits of an Awesome Community

DSC02823It’s hard to believe that OpenClinica’s Global Conference, OC13 happened one week ago. What a memorable experience! Excellent sessions, great workshops, and an amazing Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise–here’s a recap:

P6210325The Highlights

Doug Bain delivered a insightful keynote presentation that challenged attendees on how to think about about patient engagement in today’s clinical trials. The discussion looked at the use of social media and the many systems and websites such as WebMD, PatientsLikeMe, etc., that are regularly referenced by patients and how this trend is setting new standards for communication.

DSC02816The multitude of OC13 sessions were delivered by an incredibly diverse background of presenters. With presenters from Africa,  Netherlands, Germany and Japan and wide representation from both industry and academia, a wide breadth of relevant, helpful and interesting topics were covered.

cruise1

Visit the conference page to view presentation slides.

I will be posting photos on Facebook highlighting the event. If you are not currently linked to our Facebook account, please “like” us and feel free to post and share your OC13 experiences.

IMG_0298

Thank you for attending and making OC13 a great event! Until next year!

– Rob

Doug Bain – OpenClinica Keynote address – Boston, 6/21/2013

Doug Bain - CEO and Co-Founder

Doug Bain is proud to be invited to give the keynote address at the annual OpenClinica User group meeting schedule for Friday 21st June in Boston – just prior to the annual DIA 2013.

“As a former developer of an open source EDC solution,  I have the greatest respect for the work completed, and success that OpenClinica have had in recent years.   It is very difficult to get an Open Source solution off the ground, and to gain a critical momentum to move the solution forward.   Despite working within a tightly regulated environment, with an audience often verging on the conservative when approaching technology,  the platform has evolved and extended with a solid user base.

One of the areas I will be focusing on during my keynote address is the field of Patient Engagement.  In the development of technologies, we have often fallen back to a role of attempting to replicate a paper world.  To some extent, we have done this with CRFs.  We have stuck the ‘e’ on the front to create eCRF’s…  but have we really changed how clinical trials function?

I look forward to meeting the OpenClinica community, and to discuss the opportunities that exist for reaching out and involving patients more intimately in research.”

Doug Bain, CEO, eClinicalHealth Limited.

OC13 Boston – Less than a month to go!

Please excuse our excitement! There’s less than one month to go for OC13 — if you haven’t registered, now is the time to do it. Come learn about the world’s most widely used clinical trial software. All are welcome — whether you’re new to OpenClinica or already a seasoned expert.

  • Improve your effectiveness
  • Hone your skills at workshops
  • Hear case studies and best practices
  • Establish valuable connections

We looking forward to seeing you in Boston!

Odyssey Cruise
After a jam-packed day of presentations, tutorials, case studies and workshops, enjoy a relaxing dinner and drinks aboard the Odyssey. Explore Boston from the vantage point of this historical harbor. Sign up.Odyssey Cruise Ship

A Fresh Perspective on Upcoming OpenClinica Events

GrassGuy_KickedBackWhat a great time of year! The sun is out and the flowers, trees, and grass are blooming. There is no better time to spread the news about our fresh perspective on electronic data capture.

What are we up to?

  • We’ll be at SCT – Society for Clinical Trials 34th Annual Meeting in Boston next week, talking with over 650 professionals dedicated to the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials.
  • Going to Shanghai! We will be holding our Central User training in Shanghai, China from May 28-31. This follows the DIA China Annual meeting, where OpenClinica was featured in numerous presentations.
  • We hope to see you at the OC13 Global Conference in Boston on June 21. We have an exciting lineup of great workshops, sessions, demos and training classes–there is something useful for everyone. We are really looking forward to the Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise for a chance to kick back after the event and visit with our OpenClinica friends. Sign up! You don’t want to miss this.
  • Capping off our spring events and immediately following OC13 is DIA 2013 in Boston, June 23-27. We are bracing ourselves for 7,000 life science professionals converging on our booth to take in our fresh perspective and enjoy some espresso, demonstrations and some very competitive games of cornhole (yes, this is a real game!). We have some great giveaways and prizes in an outdoor-themed space. Will you be there? If so, stop by Booth #122 and have some fun.

OpenClinica Next Generation

EnterpriseDo you want to boldly go where OC is going? Engage! Check out Nick Sophino’s blog on next generation OpenClinica. This is where to find information on prototype design and development for OpenClinica Next Generation. Nick is going to be showing off this work at OC13 so be sure to check out his session!

Throw a few steaks on the grill and kick back and enjoy the season. And, remember to always look for a fresh perspective.

Warm Regards,
Rob

New OpenClinica Developer Release: Revamped Print Module

A new developer release is available for OpenClinica. While it contains a number of significant improvements, one of the more fundamental changes is a reconstruction of OpenClinica’s print CRF functionality. To date, all printable screens resembled the existing web form interface for the eCRF, whereas now, this engine has been completely redesigned to more closely follow industry standard for printable views of web forms.

Why This Matters To Developers

Ok, I get it. You are a developer, so what’s the big deal about being able to send CRFs to the printer?  It is the technology behind this improvement that will hopefully catch your attention. Important changes have been occurring in the sphere of web apps, and I don’t mean just a sprinkling of AJAX here and there along with a UI that looks like Facebook. The real revolution goes much deeper.

Setting a precedent for OpenClinica: Completely Decoupled Client Technology using Web Services

The notion is simple. Create a browser-based client with the same decoupled technology that a iOS or Android mobile client requires. In plain English, this means that only data is sent back and forth between the client and the server. Just as is expected with a native OS mobile client, the browser-based client never relies on the server to generate or send any part of itself except when the URL is first accessed and loaded into the browser. The client is therefore completely decoupled and can be in complete control of their own state. This results in a more reliable, speedier, feature-packed, and easier to maintain platform for both the client and server. Another way to put it … in the not too distant future, our 400 or so JSP pages will be replaced by one or two main HTML templates and about a dozen small (less than 100 lines each) HTML component files.  But for now, take a look at our printable CRF design as an example of the way forward.

Getting to the Point: REST, JSON, JQuery, HTML, and CSS

What follows is a description of the processing path that starts with a REST URL and ends with a printable CRF.

  1. A user will click on a print icon that is part of many of the CRF view forms. The RESTful URL referenced in the link will be in the form of rest/metadata/html/print/{StudyOID}/{StudyEventOID}/{FormDefOID}. Using this combination, a wildcard asterisk character (*) can be placed as a specifier for all studies, all study events, and all CRFs, respectively.
  2. The first path element in the URL named “rest,” indicates that this is handled by our implementation of org.akaza.openclinica.web.restful.ODMMetadataRestResource, our Jersey JAX-WS controller servlet. The “metadata” in the second path element indicates that is for metadata only and no clinical data will be transmitted. The “html” in the third path element indicates that this will result in a rather simple JSP page at /WEB-INF/jsp/printcrf.jsp. This JSP page is the container for the JQuery code that will make a second REST call to the back-end to retrieve the CDISC ODM in JSON form and is also the container for the Javascript and JQuery code that converts the information contained in the ODM JSON into an HTML DIV element with the rendered printable CRF.
  3. The AJAX call that the Javascript method getPrintableContent() in js/app.js references is a URL in the form of rest/metadata/json/view/{StudyOID}/{StudyEventOID}/{FormDefOID}. It is the 3rd path element of “json” which indicates that the same ODMMetadataRestResource servlet will now fetch the relevant ODM XML metadata, convert it to JSON, and send it back to the callback portion of getPrintableContent(). In the callback portion, a call to app_odmRenderer.renderPrintableStudy() kicks off the process by which JavaScript inspects the JSON ODM object returned by the server and builds a DOM element that represents the portion of the metadata that is meant to be displayed as one or more CRFs.
  4. The DOM HTML is rendered with the help of JQuery Templates. This allows HTML fragments such as template/print_item_def.html, which are initially loaded in memory, to be combined with certain extracted key/value pairs to render an individual or list of components.

What’s on the Horizon

This first release extends to printing blank CRFs. Then, we will work to extend this to handle printing CRFs containing clinical data and very large printable form sets. The process described above will be similar, with the exception that all large documents, typically over 100 pages long, will be rendered using a Java rendering class that builds off of Velocity templates. The resulting server-side HTML page will be converted to a downloadable PDF.

– Nick Sophinos, Senior Developer

Click here for Developer Release

OpenClinica to present at DIA China Annual Meeting

There are numerous opportunities to learn about OpenClinica at the upcoming 5th DIA China Annual Meeting <http://www.diahome.org/en/Meetings-and-Training/Find-Meetings-and-Training/Meeting-Details.aspx?ProductID=31144> . The conference, held at the Beijing International Convention Center, runs from May 12-15. The event is expected to attract over 1,200 participants and is the largest annual meeting held by DIA in the Asia and Pacific region.

OpenClinica representatives will be hosting an exhibit as well delivering three poster presentations and one lecture:

  • CDISC Standards to Enhance Clinical Trial Efficiency
  • The Importance of Validated EDC System to Ensure Quality of Data
  • Electronic Data Capture (EDC): Providing A Significant Cost-Efficient Platform In Current Clinical Research Management
  • The Adoption of Electronic Data Capture (EDC) for Clinical Trial Data Management in China – The Case of ATHENA Healthcare Consultancy

Be sure to stop by the OpenClinica booth A18 to learn about new developments with the leading open source clinical trial software.

Coming up soon, OpenClinica will be running a public, open enrollment training class in Shanghai (June 4-7). More information <https://www.openclinica.com/open-enrollment-training> .