The BaSICS project was a research study which recruited mothers and babies from antenatal clinics within three trusts in Greater Manchester.
Expectant women were invited to take part in the study during pregnancy. Once their baby was born, they were asked to complete a short daily survey about their baby for eight weeks, followed by a final longer questionaire. The BaSICS team monitored and managed cohorts of participants, ensuring they were supplied with the consumables necessary to complete the study.
The research team wanted a way to manage the study and make it as easy as possible for participants to collect data while minimising the need for paper data entry. Participants of the study needed to complete an on-boarding eligibility questionnaire and daily surveys, concluding with a larger survey at the end of their 8 week participation.
The need for the data to be held securely was of the utmost concern, and access to some of the data held by the system had to be kept from even the research team themselves.
The system also needed to make it easy for the research team to see which participants were in danger of falling behind with their daily surveys, sending automated notifications via text and email.
We designed a mobile app for Android and iOS, connected to a centralised administration system for the participants to use. In addition we built a web site that provided a portal for participants to use as another method for completing their surveys.
The design of mobile apps focused on speed and ease of use by the participants. This was incredibly important as the participants would be taking the time to complete the surveys while caring for their newborn baby.
The administration system provided dashboards and Microsoft Excel reports allowing the organisers of the research study to manage their activities in addition to keeping an eye on the status of their individual groups of participants.
We built the administration system making use of SeriouslyRAD® framework features for user access management, scheduled job execution and report generation. We developed a new survey component for the framework which provided a consistent and easy to use interface across multiple device types.
To this we added a web portal for the participants to use and developed the mobile apps using framework components, and tested everything on a wide a variety of devices.
We worked closely with the research team through user acceptance testing, and handed the system over for deployment to their hosting environment.
The mobile apps were provided to the research team's IT department for deployment into their app stores, and we were on hand to ensure a smooth rollout.
The data collection period of the study was 13 months during which time the system was used by over 700 participants.
During the data collection phase the system had collected over 38,000 surveys, of which over 90% were submitted via the Android or iOS apps.
All the time the participants were entering data, the research team were busy behind the scenes. The system guided the dispatch of consumables to the participants and assisted with the management of the participant cohorts throughout, allowing a relatively small research team to effectively run the study.