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DCASInfoPro developed the Data Collection Application Suite (DCAS), a GOTS open source toolset for survey authoring, data collection, data management and data delivery (data submission). Dr. Michael Volynski, founder of InfoPro, has been the original chief architect of DCAS since 2003 and is currently leading DCAS architectural design.

DCAS is fully driven by the metadata which is completely separated from the software, providing the ability to reuse study content across instruments, clinical trials and surveys or organizations as well as to support multiple data collection modes: online/offline, Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI), Computer Assisted Self Interview (CASI), Self-Assisted Questionnaires (SAQ), Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI), paper-based Questionnaires (PAPI) and platforms (Windows, Web, iOS, and Android) on tablets and smartphones. DCAS metadata describes not just the questionnaire’s content (both static and dynamic) to drive data collection instruments, but also describes post-data collection critical data items (CDI) extraction and creating operation entities (such as survey participants, addresses, contacts, participant communication properties, etc.).

DCAS consists from the following major subsystems:

  • Metadata Editor – supports survey content authoring with live screen and flow preview and debugging capabilities, content versioning, data collection instrument creation by using a graphical point-and-click content designer
  • Case Management – enables management of survey participants, addresses, subsamples, study protocols, examination appointments, and data collection events and instruments with statuses and paradata
  • Data Collection Instrument – provides data collection interoperable capabilities in multiple modes (online/offline, CAPI, CASI, SAQ, CATI, PAPI) and on multiple platforms (Windows, Web, iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets), can be used with DCAS or external 3rd party Case Management system
  • DCAS Tracker – allows for management of study equipment, biological specimens, and environmental samples storage and delivery
  • Data Editor – enables authorized users to edit previously collected data or input PAPI Instruments in single or double data entry modes with further data comparison and merge
  • Data Viewer – allows for reviewing and quality control of previously collected data
  • Data Factory – exports data for submission by creating encrypted, digitally signed XML, with optional PII/PHI data elements removal
  • Data Integration – enables integration with external study management systems, external case management systems, import data from external sources and export data to external sources using multiple media formats or API
  • Data Security provides a role-based security to access DCAS subsystems and within subsystem functionality by authorized personnel, integrated with Active Directory or DCAS authentication system
  • Data Reporting – provides end-users capabilities to generate ad-hoc and on-schedule custom reports via Web easy to use interface without knowledge of the structure of databases
  • DCAS Service Oriented API – a set of RESTful, SOAP and .NET open APIs used by DCAS subsystems to reuse DCAS major functionality and by third-party tools for integration

All DCAS subsystems (including data collection instruments) can be used separately allowing integration via DCAS API with 3rd-party subsystems or modules, for instance, DCAS was integrated with some Blaise-based questionnaires and with third-party field management system running on a data collection device.

DCAS metadata also describes a data submission process identifying PII or PHI data elements and recoding data elements according to the submission standard. This approach has allowed us to fully automate the entire process of creating operational entities on-the-fly which are immediately accessible in the DCAS Case Management Tool as well as producing a submission package by a nightly batch without any manual interaction.

For additional details about DCAS, please download DCAS Flyer.

Copyright (c) 2016 InfoPro Systems, Inc.