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REDCap Day highlights new features, innovative use cases

Mar. 3, 2021, 3:03 PM


by Paul Govern

Some 1.6 million people at more than 4,800 institutions around the world use a clinical research software application from Vanderbilt University Medical Center called REDCap, or Research Electronic Data Capture.

Each year at VUMC, REDCap Day brings together local users from VUMC, Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College for a morning of brief presentations on innovative use cases and new and upcoming features, followed by break-out sessions to examine aspects of the application in greater depth.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, REDCap Day moved online this year via Zoom. The opening session, held Feb. 16, drew 329 participants, putting it on par with last year’s in-person participation in Light Hall. (Local users who missed the three-day event can view all sessions via a link on REDCap Messenger.)

To start the opening session, Gordon Bernard, MD, Executive Vice President for Research at VUMC, briefly highlighted the application’s use in the COVID-19 pandemic, not only for myriad clinical studies, but for employee and public health operations around the nation and the world — from testing and contact tracing to symptoms monitoring, patient follow-up and vaccination programs. Noting that REDCap is now used on every continent, including Antarctica, Bernard said, “It continues to marvel, how incredible this program has been for the entire planet.”

Paul Harris, PhD, director of the Office of Research Informatics and the originator of REDCap, noted that the REDCap Consortium, which was established in 2006, has grown 28% since January 2020. Harris presented various indicators suggesting that REDCap has become the go-to platform not only for clinical research operations but for the public health response to COVID.

Innovative use cases highlighted in the opening session included REDCap’s use for: streamlining human subject recruitment for selected COVID studies; daily pandemic surveillance at a high school; and the occupational health response to COVID at VUMC.

To finish the opening session, REDCap developers highlighted what’s new and what’s next for the application, including greater flexibility for survey design and layout, and new features of the REDCap Mobile App, for researchers, which is not to be confused with another highlighted program, a mobile app for research participants called MyCap.

Breakout sessions held Feb. 17-18 covered a range of topics, from use of REDCap for supporting organizational workflows, to integration of REDCap with electronic medical record systems, to a feature for remotely gathering electronic consent from research participants.

For more information, visit the REDCap website at

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