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Innovation draws researchers to REDCap Day

Feb. 23, 2022, 2:23 PM


by Paul Govern

At the time of last February’s REDCap Day at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the research software application from VUMC had 1.6 million users working at some 4,800 institutions. With new users continuing to flock to the application, a year later the REDCap Consortium includes 2 million users at 5,755 institutions in 145 countries.

VUMC’s REDCap Day is an annual event featuring presentations and workshops for the Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College research community. Last year, COVID forced the event out of Light Hall and onto Zoom, where it remained this year. There were three morning-long sessions, Feb. 16-18, drawing 412 participants.

To stream any of the sessions, visit the post-event website (no login required).

At the plenary session on Feb. 16:

  • Rob Taylor, lead developer of REDCap and manager of application development at VICTR (Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research), highlighted some new features, among them, the ability to deploy research participant-facing data gathering tools in multiple languages within the same REDCap project, and increased integration between REDCap and electronic health record (EHR) systems, allowing patient data to flow instantly into research projects.
  • Beverly Woodward, clinical research manager with the Division of Infectious Diseases, spoke about what was involved in getting approval to use electronic data gathering methods for clinical trials regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Alex Cheng, PhD, research assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics, and Katie Banasiewicz, a research coordinator with VICTR, spoke about prospects for using REDCap-EHR integration to soup up research projects spread across multiple far-flung institutions.

The plenary session also included an introduction to REDCap, an overview of the application’s continued growth and development, presentation of various operational uses to which REDCap has been put in the Department of Urology, presentations on REDCap mobile device applications and a closer look at REDCap-EHR integration. Workshops on subsequent mornings were devoted to electronic consent (from research participants), how to build REDCap surveys, report customization, use of action tags and smart variables, use of REDCap to automate operations and reminders, and a walk-through of the new multi-language management feature.

REDCap, which was launched in 2004, was conceived and developed at VUMC by Paul Harris, PhD, professor of Biomedical Informatics and director of the Office of Research Informatics at VICTR. The REDCap platform and consortium are supported by the National Institutes of Health (UL1 TR002243).

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