IBM Clinical Development Blog

Cloudy Lingo: 7 Terms Healthcare Professionals Need to Know

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 23, 2015 4:00:00 PM / by Greg Pack posted in Data Exporting, Cloud, clinical trials, Apps, Saas, Switching Systems, Audit, Application, ePro, Encryption, Regulations, Investment, clinical research, Data Access, Switching EDC, Data Storage

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 In today’s world, vast amounts of information can be accessed on mobile devices, tablets and PCs at the touch of a fingertip. With privacy concerns at an all-time high, these tech advances have taken a bit of time to become accepted in the healthcare industry.

But all of that changed when the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) released “Meaningful Use" incentives, and the US Government released the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), two powerful changes to the traditional workflow in healthcare. These pieces of legislation encourage businesses in the healthcare industry to utilize certain applications and the connectivity of electronic health records.

So, we have come a long way, baby. In just 6 years, most medical management meetings in this country taking place right now are centered on value-based care and interoperability. And, cloud technologies have started to replace clunky legacy systems, offering easier, faster, and more cost-effective access to data.


Are you new to "the cloud?" Here are 7 terms you need to know: 


A SaaS (Software as a Service) platform is an on-demand software delivery model. On-demand means that the software is never installed on a local machine — it’s always accessed over the Internet, or “the cloud.” “Apps,” or, applications, are run via a web browser. 

Public Cloud

In “public cloud” storage, enterprises and small businesses offload data and backup needs to a third-party cloud storage service provider, freeing them from the expensive costs of having to purchase, manage and maintain on-site storage hardware and software resources.

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Five Important Tasks You Can't Ignore When Switching to Cloud-Based EDC

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 18, 2015 9:00:00 AM / by Amy Young posted in Industry Insights, Cloud, EDC

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The Top Line:

  • More than 70 percent of clinical trials now use some form of EDC
  • Cloud-based EDC platforms offer significant benefits for all sizes and types of organizations
  • Selecting the best system for you requires careful due diligence in five key areas

If there is an EDC genie, he’s permanently been let out of the bottle.

Well over 70 percent of clinical trials now use Electronic Data Collection (EDC) in some fashion since the first systems appeared a decade ago. And even if the pharmaceutical and medical device industry is historically slow to adopt new technology, the ease, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based EDC platforms are encouraging upgrades across the sector.

CROs and investigator site early adopters, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, are taking the next step in clinical IT’s evolution: They’re moving away from older proprietary, server-based EDC systems, spurred on by streamlined data collection that improves data security, quality and access. This trend is especially evident among small and medium-size sponsors, CROs and academic research institutions that lack the capital needed to purchase, install and maintain server-based systems. And the market has responded as EDC vendors have added cloud-based tools to their product and service suites.

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Why Move Your Trial From Paper to the Cloud

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 15, 2015 3:17:00 PM / by Amy Young posted in Industry Insights, Cloud, EDC

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The Top Line:

  • Today's EDC platforms are more scalable and powerful than in years past.
  • Innovative billing structures allow researchers of any size to use EDC.
  • The FDA encourages EDC adoption.

The popularity of EDC (Electronic Data Capture) continues to grow throughout the clinical research sector. EDC technology now is common not only in large pharmaceutical trials, but also in smaller biotechnology and device studies. At the same time, though, a number of small sponsors and clinical research organizations (CROs) believe EDC is still beyond their budgets and continue to enter paper Case Report Forms (CRFs) into electronic databases (double data entry). They also often enter paper CRFs into spreadsheet programs like MS Excel® for trials where submission to the FDA is not the ultimate goal.

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