New Features : Image Uploads

Image uploads can improve compliance, participant monitoring and reduce the burden on participants. Here's how
Jul 4, 2022
(4 min)

Participant or HCP Image Submissions

Image data submissions are useful and informative. While they can be very subjective, they can provide enormous benefit in any decentralised trial. In fact, operating in a decentralised manner where participants are free to take charge of their data submissions independently can often risk missing out on key pieces of information that one might only get from regular in person visits and contact. Regular contact to obtain such data is indeed usseful, but burdensome to both the trials team and the participant. Trials teams will need to set up and arrange meetings and appointments to collect data, and participants will be burdened with the need to constantly visit a research site which can be costly and can put them off participation in a trial.

So how might capture of multimedia such as images and videos be useful in addressing these challenges? If we consider the following points, it is easy to see the value in recording multimedia such as images during a trial:

..."a picture speaks a thousand words"...

  • What if a participant is unaware of what side effects might look like?
  • What if the participant is unaware of visual signs of poor health or adverse reactions? E.g. dry skin / eczema or jaundice which might indicate a bad reaction?
  • What if a participant is unaware of what improvements might look like?
  • If the participant is unable to accurately score a particular parameter, a picture for a HCP might be helpful in assisting with scoring, especially to known scoring standard scales such as stool charts
  • What if we are uncertain that a participant is taking their intervention? a submission with an automatic time-stamp and a picture of an intervention packet on a daily basis can assist with compliance monitoring
  • What if we need daily visual updates due to the logistical impracticalities of daily site visits?
  • Many more...

Improve compliance

Submitting a photo as data will help commit the participant less to very demanding trials. If we can spare participants the time and effort of coming to a site very often, they might be more compliant or even more likely to participate in the first place. We must make trials as easy as possible and less invasive for participants.

Gather interesting metadata

During the course of the trial the participant will spend most of their time away from the trial site. While the Case Report Form (CRF) can certainly be filled-in very comprehensively by the participant, gathering extra data without the budget to provision the technology to do so is very attractive. Smartphone and home computer usage is at an all time high and these days it is not unreasonable to set smartphone or personal computer access as a criterion for participation.

How is Trialflare helping?

Trialflare is able to gather image data from participant devices through photos taken at a given time-point, or from historical pictures saved to a device, for example, a smartphone camera roll. Creating stages which enable either singular submissions or recurring ad-hoc stages enable ongoing monitoring of compliance, health and wellbeing.

A Use Case for Participants

Participants are able to use the Trialflare mobile app to take photos in response to questions

Saved photos can be time-stamped and submitted as part of a recurring, ad-hoc or non-recurring stage.

Whether you are scoring participant visuals or simply recording evidence of compliance, the Trialflare mobile app will enable you to track important and accurate participant metadata during your study. This data feeds back automatically to trials team members or HCPs on the web app for them to monitor. HCPs can also submit data on a participants behalf should they need to as we will see below.

A Use Case for Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)

Trials team members and HCPs are able to see both participant submissions and also submit data themselves.

Using Trialflare's Admin and HCP portal, it's easy - REC approval and protocol-depending - for permitted trials team members to observe submitted images- both as thumbnails and high-resolution images. These can be images set in recurring (e.g. weekly) or non-recurring stages. Alternatively, for spontaneous event monitoring at potentially random points each day, ad-hoc submissions are also available. In the example above, we are able to monitor hair condition over time, however, this can be extrapolated to include things like skin damage, wound healing and compliance monitoring through pictures of used intervention capsule or tablet packaging.

What ways will you use the image upload feature to get the most out of your trials?

If you are collecting data through surveys, questionnaires, or as part of clinical or nutritional trials or public health research, get in touch to learn more.

Use the contact form here or email us at hello@trialflare.com