Application of the research electronic data capture (REDCap) system in a low- and middle income country– experiences, lessons, and challenges

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Application of the research electronic data capture (REDCap) system in a low- and middle income country– experiences, lessons, and challenges


JournalHealth and Technology
Article typeJournal research article – Other
Publication date – Sep – 2021
Authors – O. Odukoya, D. Nenrot, H. Adelabu, N. Katam, E. Christian, J. Holl, A. Okonkwo, M. Kocherginsky, K.-Y. Kim, S. Akanmu, F. B. Abdulkareem, R. Anorlu, J. Musa, O. Lesi, C. Hawkins, O. Okeke, W. L. Adeyemo, S. Sagay, R. Murphy, L. Hou, F. T. Ogunsola & F. H. Wehbe
KeywordsData capture, LMIC, Redcap, Research collaboration
Open access – Yes
SpecialityDigital health, Health policy, Other
World region Northern America, Western Africa
Country: Nigeria, United States of America
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on October 4, 2021 at 4:09 am
Abstract:

The challenges of reliably collecting, storing, organizing, and analyzing research data are critical in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where several healthcare and biomedical research organizations have limited data infrastructure. The Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) System has been widely used by many institutions and hospitals in the USA for data collection, entry, and management and could help solve this problem. This study reports on the experiences, challenges, and lessons learned from establishing and applying REDCap for a large US-Nigeria research partnership that includes two sites in Nigeria, (the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL) and Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH)) and Northwestern University (NU) in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. The largest challenges to this implementation were significant technical obstacles: the lack of REDCap-trained personnel, transient electrical power supply, and slow/ intermittent internet connectivity. However, asynchronous communication and on-site hands-on collaboration between the Nigerian sites and NU led to the successful installation and configuration of REDCap to meet the needs of the Nigerian sites. An example of one lesson learned is the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) as a solution to poor internet connectivity at one of the sites, and its adoption is underway at the other. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or shared online hosting were also evaluated and offer alternative solutions. Installing and using REDCap in LMIC institutions for research data management is feasible; however, planning for trained personnel and addressing electrical and internet infrastructural requirements are essential to optimize its use. Building this fundamental research capacity within LMICs across Africa could substantially enhance the potential for more cross-institutional and cross-country collaboration in future research endeavors.

OSI Number – 21279

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