With the growing popularity and use of mobile devices amongst healthcare professionals and patients, there is now a unique opportunity for researchers to collect data using people’s own individual mobile devices.
Many research studies carried out today are still collected on paper and randomization continues to be done with sealed envelopes.
Mobile technology has the power to change all of this and simplify the process-enter SherlockMD.
SherlockMD was founded in NYU in 2010 to expand technology use into clinical research.
They aim to bring Mobile Data Capture to the mass market through web browsers and mobile devices. SherlockMD offers a self-directed process where investigators can design their study online, collect data on an iOS device and retrieve the dataset at will. They aim to do all this at a substantial cost benefit to some of the larger expensive offerings from the private sector.
Creating an account on SherlockMD is currently free. Users can create their own studies using three options:
The Form section allows users to create their own survey with questions, multiple choice selections, drop down boxes etc. The Media section allows users to upload images or documents for remote access and viewing. In practice, this would be the place to upload consent forms to take part in a study or undergo a specific treatment.
There are a range of study types that SherlockMD is compatible with, as shown in the image below:
The real strength of SherlockMD is the integrated nature of the service. Designing a trial online and then carrying out data collection using a mobile device simplifies many of the current hurdles facing researchers. Furthermore, the advanced functionality such as randomization is carried out effectively online. The ability to easily access and store excel data spreadsheets saves countless hours transferring results from paper to digital. The main question at this stage is patient data security and protecting confidentiality.
A video showing the main points of SherlockMD is shown below: