REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is primarily a database solution for collecting and managing research data, but it can also be used for other matters that are only marginally related to research (eg surveys). It was originally developed for the internal needs of researchers at Vanderbilt University, but is now used worldwide – especially in the academic research community. It is an international network of nearly two and a half thousand institutions in over 115 countries, with 590,000 end users. REDCap is currently used for more than 450,000 ongoing research studies.
The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) is also involved in this network, Jan Voříšek from the Biostatistics team is our administrator. He recently returned from the REDCapCon conference and answered some questions.
Jan, being a researcher, why use REDCap?
Because I think it’s perfect for us. (smile) Seriously, most of our researchers use MS Excel or Google Sheets to record their research data. From a certain point of view, and now I run into GDPR, for example, this can be a big problem, moreover, when there is something far more sophisticated and practical – I mean REDCap. It enables creation of a database for manual data collection with bulletproof security, perfect management of access rights, takes care of data validation at the time of entry or enables cooperation on one dataset to international teams. Although it is not software for processing enormous machine-generated data, it is an ideal tool for standard research.
And what about REDCap and FNUSA-ICRC?
After a year and a half we finally have REDCap in the latest version, so it is ready to use. And it’s free! It even meets the requirements of GDPR compliance… Just to give you an idea, I met a colleague from Mayo Clinic at the conference and he confirmed to me that several thousands of studies have been done at REDCap, including the most demanding clinical solutions.
So what do you plan to increase using REDCap?
Certainly I would like to create a special section on our web page with detailed information for potential users and by the end of the year I also plan to validate for the needs of clinical trials. This is still in progress, but if someone is interested in this information, it can certainly contact me, I will be happy to explain it in person.