Handheld-based data collection in a highly distributed clinical study (PMS)
Electronic Data Capturing offers a significantly higher ad-hoc quality of study data at the time of entry, which is specifically important for post-marketing type studies where resources for subsequent data cleaning are limited. Internet-based tools provide a good solution to these scenarios as typically large numbers of centres and/or doctors are involved. But while the deployment of Internet-based (online) studies on existing computer equipment is relatively easy, participants might find it sometimes difficult to integrate the electronic documentation effort into the clinical practice. This might be due to limited availability of Internet access, the location of the computers, security concerns etc. The presented case study shows how the introduction of handheld computers can help to overcome these issues and provide for added flexibility and ease of use. Furthermore, actual data regarding the penetration of mobile devices in the medical community in Germany is discussed to give an outlook of the future potential for mobile studies.
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