Introducing OpenClinica Participate

In clinical research, we all work towards better evidence-based, patient-centered health interventions. We all understand the importance of evidence. But how about patient-centered? We hear this phrase perhaps too often nowadays, but it’s more than just a buzzword. A patient-centered approach directs research toward questions that are important to patients so they can make more informed healthcare decisions. It measures the outcomes that are noticeable and important to patients, and produces results that help them weigh the value of healthcare.

At OpenClinica, we think increasing the patient-centeredness of research is vital. Industry, NIH, FDA, and the general public seem to agree, and furthermore share our view that technology can increase patient engagement. This can happen by designing highly accessible, mobile technology to:

  • Improve patient participation, motivation, and adherence
  • Increase ability to meet recruitment goals, budget, and completion timelines
  • Enable new designs that better target populations and/or more closely align with real-world use

HTCPhoneI’d like to introduce our upcoming product, OpenClinica Participate, a tool tightly integrated with OpenClinica for engaging patients and collecting data directly from study participants.

If you took our recent survey, you got a glimpse of what your forms for patient-reported outcomes could look like in OpenClinica Participate. Driven by a powerful forms engine based on proven open-source technology, the participant forms are simple, dynamic, mobile-focused, and platform-independent.

But it’s about a lot more than mobile-friendly forms. Patient expectations are rising while trial participation is shrinking. Clinical trials need to engage ‘Subjects’ as ‘Participants’ — by recruiting and retaining through real-time engagement and meeting the ‘anytime, anywhere’ expectations of a mobile, smartphone enabled world. It starts with an intuitive, action-oriented dashboard. Participants are greeted with a simple interface that motivates and focuses them on what they need to do today. The layout is responsive and knows whether you are using your phone, a tablet, or a traditional browser. Communication with the participant can occur through multiple channels — via the dashboard, through SMS, or via email, with options to help you make sure the right balance is struck between security and accessibility.

Participate_OCUILast, and perhaps most important, Participate is tightly integrated with the OpenClinica EDC platform. The Participate solution allows you to design your study and forms using the OpenClinica study build tools you already know, while seamlessly capturing all your clinical and participant-reported outcomes in a single database. You can build skip patterns, repeats, and other logic into your participant forms just as you do with traditional OpenClinica CRFs, using the same rules engine. You can use scheduling rules to identify the next time participant feedback is required. As data is submitted by study participants, their activities become part of the same audit trail that tracks what your clinical users do. The data they submit can immediately be reviewed and extracted along with CRF data from other sources.

Participate is extremely easy to adopt. As a modular add-on to your hosted OpenClinica Enterprise instance, it can be activated for any new study from within your study build screen. Forms are powered by the widely used open source enketo-express library and all editions of OpenClinica will support the widely-used OpenRosa API to let you run Enketo, ODK Collect, or any of a number of OpenRosa-compliant data capture clients. Participate utilizes a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model, so there is no costly and delay-inducing software deployment to worry about.

 

Visit the OpenClinica Participate Website

 

Let’s get social about code!

The move to Github is a powerful one, and one that we know will foster a strong, active community.

github2When we started building OpenClinica more than eight years ago we wanted to build a community around it and one has really emerged. I’ve personally been able to interact with hundreds of users over the years and I’ve learned a lot from them. People have been pushing the boundaries; starting their own user groups (all over the world!) and building cool tools and add-ons for OpenClinica. The only downside is that I don’t think there has been enough visibility into what other people have been building – but why? Perhaps the right tools for sharing weren’t in place.

Github lets you fork, pull request and merge! Not only that, but you’ll get credit on your Github profile for pull requests that get merged. It’s like the social networking of code contributing. We really want to lower the barriers to solid contributions. In the past two months we’ve gotten five pull requests and two are in the process of being merged and will be in the next release (3.4). Of course, we’re really excited about this and look forward to more contributions. We really want this process to be simple, transparent and fun. Let us know what you think!

You can find us on Github here: https://github.com/OpenClinica/OpenClinica

And for more info on our road map, you can check here:

https://docs.openclinica.com/release-notes

Cheers!

Alicia

OpenClinica Rule Designer Now Open Source

I’m excited to announce that the OpenClinica Rule Designer module is now freely available to all OpenClinica Community Edition users, and the source code is open to developers.

With this tool, users can more easily create powerful and advanced rules, driving productivity. With the upcoming release of rules-based event scheduling it is a great time to open up this valuable, time-tested tool. You can request access to the hosted Rule Designer for your Community Edition instance here.

Up until now, the Rule Designer has been available only to users of the OpenClinica Enterprise Edition. We are always looking to reduce hurdles to increasing the adoption, development, and innovation of OpenClinica, and being more open is almost always the best way to do this. Making the Rule Designer open source and freely available encourages feedback and contributions that make it better for everyone, and enables innovative re-use of parts of the code.

If you are an Enterprise Edition subscriber, nothing will change, and you’ll continue to have fully supported access to your Rule Designer backed by our Service Level Agreement.

OpenClinica is already a highly successful community project. Tens of thousands of community members use the technology and many share their innovations, create extensions, write documentation, help beginners, translate, and contribute code to the core software. Now developers interested in advanced study design capabilities can join the party, too!

Here are a few parts of the Rule Designer code that are worthy of note:

– Tree model of an OpenClinica study with 3 views – by CRF, by CRF Version, by Event Definition
– Drag-and-drop rule design functionality
– Use of the REST API to interact with OpenClinica core
– Use of OAuth to authenticate with OpenClinica to use the REST API

Get the source code on GitHub (LGPL license). Technical information on how Rule Designer works and interacts with OpenClinica is here.

There will be some great information about the Rule Designer and the new calendaring features at the upcoming OC14 conference. Long time OpenClinica expert Alicia Goodwin will facilitate a workshop on “Rules for Advanced Users,” providing a deep dive into OpenClinica Rules, a powerful mechanism for adding workflow, edit checks, and other capabilities to your OpenClinica study. She will also be showing the latest innovation of Rules-based calendaring features. More here.

OC14Logo250x260

OpenClinica 3.1.3 Release Preview; Beta Now Available

We’ve been working hard on the OpenClinica 3.1.3 release and recently published a beta release. While 3.1.3 is technically a maintenance release, it is quite substantial, covering 176 fixes and enhancements. The following is a summary of what’s included. For a more complete and detailed list, please view the Project Roadmap page in the Issue Tracker (login required).

  • Improved performance for CRF data entry/editing, the View Study Subject page, and the Notes and Discrepancies page
  • Fixes and improvements to SPSS output format
  • Improved server stability
  • An overhaul of OpenClinica’s internationalization/localization support to fix defects and increase ease of use.
  • Fixes to problems with data entry/editing in repeating groups
  • Support CRF Version migration for individual event CRFs
  • Rules can be run at data import and when loading data via web services
  • Fixes to nested simple conditional displays in CRFs
  • Option to require strong passwords
  • Fixes to missing database constraints for OpenClinica installations upgraded from 2.5 or earlier

Sign-up for the OpenClinica 3.1 Webinar

Join us for a free webinar presentation and demonstration of the newly released OpenClinica 3.1. This is a great opportunity to see the technology firsthand and ask questions.

To accomodate different time zones, the same webinar will be run at two different times and dates. You may use the links below to sign-up:

  • Thu, Aug 11, 2011 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT (GMT -5:00)  – Register
  • Wed, Sep 14, 2011 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM EDT (GMT -5:00) – Register

Space is limited, so sign-up today!

OpenClinica 3.1 is Finally Here!

After nearly 20 months, OpenClinica 3.1 is finally ready to meet the world as a production ready application.  You may download OpenClinica 3.1 here.  It has been a long and arduous road, but the final incarnation of 3.1 is the most significant leap forward for the OpenClinica clinical trials software.

OpenClinica 3.1 further accelerates clinical productivity and enhances the clinical trial experience in a number of notable ways:

  • Improved data entry save time and increased performance for accessing large amounts of data.  The architecture around the data entry process in OpenClinica was re-factored to allow more concurrent users accessing the system while conducting more intensive simultaneous processes.  With this re-factoring, page turn times have seen a 10x (and sometimes better) speed improvement.  At the same time, large extracts which had to be broken into smaller subsets in the past can now be executed in a single batch.
  • Skip logic to ensure data entry users only see CRF fields and sections relevant to entering their data.  When a user accesses an eCRF to enter data for a patient or subject, they will only see the fields pertinent to be collected at that time.  Logic can be built in to the eCRF to show or hide additional fields based on the values provided in previous questions.
  • Streamlined discrepancy and query management infrastructure that allows issues around questionable data to be resolved more quickly.  A new interface for creating and responding to discrepancies, as well as new filters for query aging, to support faster resolution of data issues.  The number of clicks for filtering/sorting discrepancy notes, viewing the data responsible for the discrepancy note, and returned back to your filtered set of reports has been cut in half.
  • GUI-based creation, testing, and management of complex cross field/cross form multivariate edit checks.  A simple drag and drop interface has been implemented to facilitate the faster creation of complex edit checks.  This new interface interacts with authorized OpenClinica instances to speed up the study design process for OpenClinica Enterprise edition clients.
  • Plug-in architecture for exporting data collected in OpenClinica which supports the transformation of data into any output format.
  • OpenClinica Data Mart to easily report clinical trial results collected through OpenClinica.

These last two items have been covered extensively in previous blog posts.  Please see Plug-in Architecture for OpenClinica Data Extracts and Video Demo of New OpenClinica Data Mart.

We will be hosting an OpenClinica Community Virtual Forum shortly to demonstrate some of these new capabilities.  Also, keep this blog on your RSS feed or bookmarked in your browser, as future posts will dive into more details of the new features and functionality in OpenClinica 3.1.

– Paul Galvin

OpenClinica 3.1 Release Update

We are in the final development stretch of the OpenClinica 3.1 project.  Over the course of alphas and betas some items have been inevitably been added, removed, and changed, so I thought it would be useful to provide an up-to-date list of features and bugs that are being addressed in this release.

Those of you attending the OpenClinica Global Conference May 8-9 here in Boston will get to experience numerous demonstrations of 3.1 functionality, and of course get to interact directly with members of our rockstar development team 🙂

First, here’s a quick review of some of the more popular new features:

  • Dynamic items in a CRF
    • Supports showing and hiding of items based on values provided in a separate field
    • Supports insertion of data across fields and CRFs based on values provided in a separate field.
  • Re-factoring of the Extract Data module to support custom data transformations allowing you to extract data in essentially any conceivable format.
  • Improved capabilities for sharing data entry duties among a given site’s users
  • Discrepancy Note “Days Open” filter to better monitor discrepancy aging
  • Discrepancy Note “Days Since Updated” filter to ensure productive discrepancy resolution
  • Audit log and discrepancy note data included in ODM exports
  • Improved CRF page turn time (in many cases over 10x faster)
  • CRF Header updates to provide a cleaner data entry experience
  • Ability to assign Failed Validation Checks (in addition to Queries)
  • Relative Paths for Item OIDs in Rules to enable portability and reusability of Rules
  • Discrepancy Note flag colors now appear in the CRF
  • Additional study parameter configuration options to opt out of using certain fields such as Interviewer Name, Interview Date, and Location
  • OpenClinica Datamart for ad-hoc reporting (Enterprise only)
  • GUI Based, drag-and-drop Rule Designer (Enterprise only)

More detailed descriptions of the above features can be found in the previous blog posts “OpenClinica 3.1 (project “Amethyst”) Preview” and “New Capabilities Added to OpenClinica Version 3.1.”

For those sufficiently ambitious, yes, you can see a complete list of ALL the 457 separate enhancements and bug fixes in 3.1 as of April 6, on the OpenClinica Amethyst Project Roadmap.

And finally, here’s the current release timeline:

  • Beta 4 released week of April 11th
  • Release Candidate 1 released week of April 18th
  • Production Release of OpenClinica 3.1 early May.

Many thanks to the dedicated team of folks who, for the past 19 months, have worked tirelessly to make this the most significant OpenClinica release ever.

– Paul

First Large-Scale Demo of OpenClinica 3.1 at DIA EuroMeeting | March 28-30 | Geneva

OpenClinica version 3.1 will be demonstrated at this year’s Drug Information Association (DIA) Annual EuroMeeting, March 28-30 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The EuroMeeting attracts more than 3,000 professionals from over 50 countries. It brings together professionals from the biopharmaceutical industry, contract service organizations, clinical research, regulatory agencies, health ministries, patients’ organizations and universities.

Drop by booth #1620 to experience this cutting edge release first-hand!

New Capabilities Added to OpenClinica Version 3.1

For the past 12 months, the OpenClinica development team has been working diligently on the next major OpenClinica release. In a prior blog post (OpenClinica 3.1 (project “Amethyst”) Preview), I discussed some of the new functionality and key improvements this forthcoming release will include. Since then, the development team has added some more pieces of functionality, most notably:

  • Re-factoring of Extract Data to enable custom data transformations
  • Discrepancy Note “Days Open” filter
  • Discrepancy Note “Days Since Updated” filter
  • CRF Header updates
  • Additional study parameter configuration options
    • Interviewer Name – not used
    • Interview Date – not used
    • Location – not used
  • OpenClinica Data Mart for ad hoc reporting*
  • GUI-based Rules designer*

Custom Data Transformations

From a development perspective, perhaps the most significant piece of functionality in the above list is the complete re-factoring of the Extract Data module. In prior versions of OpenClinica, the Extract Data module would natively export CDISC ODM 1.2, CDISC ODM 1.3, both ODM 1.2 and 1.3 with OpenClinica extensions, tab-delimited text, and an SPSS file format. While these formats will continue to be available in 3.1, OpenClinica will have the ability to process (via XSL style sheets) any CDISC ODM 1.3 data set into any other data format.

This new XSL method of extracting data from OpenClinica opens up a new world of formats in which data may be obtained from OpenClinica. To create a new extract format, all one has to do is configure a new XSL style sheet. Organizations can write their own XSL style sheets then configure a file called extract.properties that allows OpenClinica’s XSL transformation engine to convert the data in the ODM XML file into the organization’s desired format.

GUI-based Rules Designer*

The GUI-based Rules designer is a project currently underway that allows users to build cross-field/cross-form multivariate edit checks without having to interface directly with XML. Its intuitive, drag and drop interface hides much of the current complexity in creating and managing Rules, while retaining the system’s robust capabilities in this area. Users will be able to work directly with the Item Names as defined in a CRFs definition, eliminating the need to keep track of OIDs.

OpenClinica Data Mart*

The OpenClinica Data Mart presents clinical data from OpenClinica studies in a readily-accessible relational database for ad hoc reporting and analysis. The Data Mart enables data managers, project managers, and researchers to create reports and mine data using standard business intelligence software or SQL reporting tools

Beta Timeframe

We currently expect the first Beta of 3.1 to be available towards the end of November. This Beta will be feature complete, and blocking issues that prevent the testing of new features will have been resolved. Once the first Beta is released, we will begin the 3.1 Pilot Program. We currently have 10 organizations participating in the Pilot Program, but if your organization would like to volunteer as well please contact me.

Please be sure to check back the OpenClinica Blog often as I post future updates on the 3.1 timelines.

– Paul Galvin, OpenClinica Project Manager

_________________

*Both the GUI-based Rules designer and Data Mart will be Enterprise only applications and will not be part of the publicly released 3.1 Beta.