eCRF for the EuCARE study

EuCARE (European Cohorts of patients and schools to Advance Response to Epidemics) is a project financed by the European fund HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01. The primary aim of the project is to study the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants in relation to the ability of existing tests and vaccines to diagnose and combat them. The study is also aimed at better understanding how infected patients respond to treatment and the likelihood that they will develop serious pathologies in the short and long term. The project is global in scope and 19 partners from 15 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and America are participating.

The project started on 14 October 2021 with the aim of having an integrated scientific database and a robust and secure data collection application by June 2023. The drafting of the protocols for conducting the project, also due to the high number of partners involved, took much longer than expected (a full eight months), and this left less than two months for the analysis and development of the application.

Livebase made a vital contribution to the project, allowing the development of a very complex scientific database in just a few weeks, used daily by thousands of users in different languages and with different authorization profiles. Even after the application has been put into operation, Livebase continues to play an essential role thanks to its ability to update both the database structure and the application extremely quickly and efficiently (often just in a few minutes), preserving previous data and automatically restructuring them where necessary.

The medical staff of 12 research centers of different nationalities use the application daily for the manual entry of clinical data of interest (physiological parameters, genomic markers, previous and concomitant pathologies, laboratory analyses, therapies, etc.) relating to patients of a relevant cohort. The application is also used by the four laboratories involved in the study for generating sample labels and for archiving data by importing files directly from laboratory equipment. Sensitive data has been encrypted on the client side, thus preventing it from being present unencrypted within the scientific database.

The architecture of the application generated by Livebase, being based on a relational DBMS, allowed the scientific database to be exported and shared in a standard SQL format that can be easily processed by any data scientist and imported into any other statistical analysis application. At the same time, the Livebase models used for generation were extremely useful as conceptual documentation of the database's logical schema, facilitating understanding of the data and minimizing the risk of interpretation errors.