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Ana Castilho

iUZ Blog | EDC


Wondering what EDC means?

And Clinical Studies?

Here at iUZ we’ve been working with our uEDC solution that focuses on Clinical and Observational Studies.


Electronic Data Capture

EDC, the acronym for Electronic Data Capture, is an electronic medical record system specialised in clinical research, with the main objective to collect clinical data in an electronic data.

With the increase of Information Technology (IT) in healthcare, is not new that there is a trend and a need to a simpler, effective and highly specialised electronic data capture systems that can be easily implemented and customisable, always thinking in the end-user.

EDC systems are web-based software platforms that are created to collect and store clinical data through electronic forms, and usually the user only needs a web browser.

Typically, electronic source data is used for health clinical investigations, where sponsors and CROs (Clinical Research Organisation) use this type of systems.


We tend to sort out these 3 EDC system types:

  • Clinical trials: Applied during the phase of a medicine with pre-market entry, with an advanced certification demanding;
  • Clinical studies: Applied during the entry phase of a medicine on the market;
  • Observational study: A non-interventional study, mostly applied during a medical treatment.

Usually EDC systems are designed to demonstrate the efficacy and/or safety of medical treatments or medicines.


Main features

At iUZ we’ve been upgrading our uEDC solution.

A platform targeted for clinical and observational studies offering advanced features, with an easy customised setup to specific study requirements. For activating a new Clinical Study it is required a CRF (Case Report Form) and a DVP (Data Validation Plan) along with the platform setup. The CRF is a paper or electronic questionnaire used in clinical research, which the study promotor develops containing all the questions that the study will have.

In this competitive healthcare market there are several Electronic Data Capture solutions, but obviously not all of them have the same features.

iUZ uEDC solution has the following main features (view also our Standard Feature List flyer):

  • Clinical Study Setup
  • Profile and user management
  • Data entry
  • Data validation
  • Data management
  • Calibration
  • Data export
  • Notifications
  • Audit Trail


The main benefits of Electronic Data Capture systems are:

  • Higher security
  • Faster and efficient, compared with paper-based systems
  • Reduces data entry errors, which are also detected earlier than with paper-based systems
  • Accelerates the clinical data management process
  • Decreases clinical development costs
  • Higher time-savings
  • Major tendency to the fulfilment with regulatory requirements
  • Data is centralised in a specific electronic database
  • Real-time view of the data collected



Want to see our solution? Ask us for a uEDC live demonstration. In the meantime, view our uEDC video.


Did we forget about some important aspect? Have some doubts? Please, let us know in the comments.

 (image from Flickr by Myfuture.com)

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Ana Castilho

Clinical Research

“… a branch of healthcare science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use.” (Source: Wikipedia)


Clinical Trial Participation Equation

Understanding that clinical research is essential for public health has been rising over the past few years.

And what do you need for a successful clinical research?

Beyond a well-structured Information System platform and a Research Site, you need patients!


For that, Beth Harper, a Clinical Research Expert has created her Clinical Trial Participation Equation that Forte – Research Systems have shared.

The Clinical Trial Participation Equation is strictly directed to this type of studies and intends to be a formula for patient recruitment and retention success in clinical trials. Beth Harper explains that “is a formula for evaluating and understanding the factors that influence a subject’s willingness and ability to participate in a clinical trial”.

Have a look and tell us what you think, below in the comments.

(click in the image to view full-size)
iUZ Blog | The Clinical Trial Participation Equation [Infographic] 


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Ana Castilho

Interoperability Infographic | iUZ Blog

(Check our new infographic below)


We have been talking a lot about health interoperability lately, but what this mean exactly?

Well, have you watch Marcelo Fonseca iUZ.Talk back in July?


Back then, Marcelo explained iUZ point-of-view in the health interoperability field, and has referred important related aspects during his pitch. We have recorded it and you can still view it in our Youtube Channel.



Health Interoperability definition


According with HIMSS – Health Information and Management System Society, health interoperability is:

(…) the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged.

Data exchange schema and standards should permit data to be shared across clinicians, lab, hospital, pharmacy, and patient regardless of the application or application vendor. Health interoperability means the ability of information systems to work together within and across organisational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.

There are three levels of health information technology interoperability:

  1. Foundational (allows data exchange from one information technology system to be received by another)
  2. Structural (an intermediate level that defines the structure or format of data exchange)
  3. Semantic (provides interoperability at the highest level, which is the ability of two or more systems or elements to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. Takes advantage of both the structuring of the data exchange and the codification of the data including vocabulary so that the receiving information technology systems can interpret the data)

(Source: HIMSS – Definition of Interoperability)



Cross-Border Interoperability and Challenges in the Interoperability field


At iUZ we have committed a lot of our time to cross-border interoperability in the healthcare field (check our epSOS case study (new) page), as cross-border interoperability “aiming to provide tools and common ways to exchange information between countries” (Source: Slideshare). According with epSOS, cross-border interoperability also means interoperability between neighbouring and non-neighbouring epSOS Member States and their entire territories.
In Marcelo pitch, he spoke about a few challenges in the interoperability field, being:

Legal and organisational interoperability challenges, such as:

  • Implementation of legal common grounds for information exchange
  • Establishment of circles of trust
  • Legal recognition of involved parties, such as HCPs (including their roles), patients and others
  • Set in place common authentication mechanisms (e.g. European e-Identification projects)
  • Etc.

interoperability challenges, such as:

  • Represent as much as possible the information using clinical code-systems
  • Define common and agreed value sets for information exchange (e.g. health sets of terminologies)
  • Establish formal mappings of existent information to the agreed value sets
  • Include the translations to allow multi-language capabilities (for cross-country scenarios)
  • Etc.

interoperability challenges, such as:

  • Implement common interfaces for services
  • Establish agreed format for information exchange
  • Prove and certify the compliance level of the involved systems
  • Define roadmaps for information integration
  • Etc.



Interoperability Benefits


Regarding the benefits for having information systems connected through cross-border health interoperability, are:

  • For citizens and patients:
    • Receive health care abroad (almost) seamlessly;
    • Receive medication in a foreign country on existing prescription;
    • Access to his own information in multiple languages and recognised formats;
  • For Health care providers:
    • Get quick and easy access to key patient data;
    • Improve health care cooperation across borders;
  • Health care quality:
    • Reduce medication errors by exchanging data;
    • Facilitate the occasional care of foreign patients


The answers to these issues are in these organisms:

  • IHE – Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise
  • HL7 – Health Level Seven International
  • DICOM – Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine





We’ve already written about IHE, when we joined IHE international as a member organization and when we went to Connectathon 2014 in Vienna (Austria). IHE – Integrating Healthcare Enterprise, is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry leaders that aims to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information.

According with IHE, they intend to promote the coordinated use of established standards such as DICOM and HL7 to address specific clinical needs in support of optimal patient care. Systems developed in accordance with IHE communicate with one another better, are easier to implement, and enable care providers to use information more effectively. (Source: IHE)



Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization. HL7 provides standards for interoperability that improve care delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer among all stakeholders.

HL7 is dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information.



Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) “is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging.” (Source: Wikipedia)



See our new brand infographic about “What is Health Interoperability?”:


Click in the image to view full-size or see it on Slideshare. Don´t forget to share it.




There are much more to say about health interoperability. Share with us your thoughts, below in the comments.

Opening the Future of Healthcare.
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Ana Castilho


Healthcare IT is changing the medical industry


According with one of our latest’s blog post in the next 5-7 years, 50.000 healthcare informatics workers will be needed (U.S. data). However, you may think, what really needs to be done?

Five ways health care must improve


KevinMD.com, a social media influencer in healthcare wrote 5 ways health care must improve which lists five issues that must be upgrade in HIT (Health Information Technology):

  1. Make systems more efficient
  2. Integrate different EMRs together
  3. Make everything mobile
  4. Start using voice recognition
  5. Recognize the limitations of IT and understand that health care is a human experience



Technology is (really) changing the healthcare industry


Technology is (really) changing the healthcare industry, however hospitals/clinics are not communicating and IT systems tend to be hard to learn or far too complex. Therefore, there are much more to improve, although this is a good set to begin with.

We were inspired by KevinMD.com post and made this infographic where you can find a summarize version of the blog post.

Take a look and tell us what you think bellow in the comments.

Healthcare IT - 5 ways to improve - iUZ

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Ana Castilho


Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society


HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) is a “not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access, through the best use of information technology and management systems” (Source: wikipedia). Every year HIMSS produces a Leadership Survey according with U.S. senior IT executive’s responses, and for the 25th HIMSS Annual Leadership Survey there were 298 valid responses.
MuleSoft, a company that integrates platforms for connecting SaaS and enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise, created an infographic regarding the collected information from the 25th Leadership Survey mentioned before.

Are you a connected hospital?


This infographic sums up HIMSS document, where we can see that in U.S.:

• 25% – Are leveraging the latest technology to provide better patient care

• 19% – Companies are integrating new technologies with installed systems

• Patients using telehealth services are expected to reach 7 million in 2018 up from 350.000 in 2013

• 37% – indicated that IT can positively impact patient care by improving clinical and quality outcomes

These statistics reinforces the need to health interoperable systems, for that data can flow freely across clinical and non-clinical devices/systems (Source: MuleSoft blog).

(Click in the image to view full-size)

Connected Healthcare Systems [Infographic]


Have something to add? Please, tell us below in the comments.

(image: Phalin Ooi)

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Ana Castilho

Health Conference at Aqualuz Resort & Conference Hotel.

Do you feel that there is much to talk about interoperability in healthcare, but you don’t really find opportunities to speak with experts about it?

HCist is for you!

The third edition of the HCist – International Conference of Health and Social Care Information Systems Technologies will occur in Tróia (Portugal), between the 15th and 17th of October at the lovely Aqualuz Resort & Conference Hotel.

ICT solutions are being tailored for specific service providers, which according with the HCist organization committee, reinforces the demand that Europe has to reduce market fragmentation, mainly to reduce the lack of a common EU interoperability, testing and certification framework.

HCist is aligned with the Digital Agenda for Europe and expects to leverage the eHealth Technical Interoperability discussions in Portugal with debates and workshops, establishing a “shared vision and architectural building block to approach the EU top priority use cases, building upon worldwide technical profiles and standards” (Source: HCist press release).


A workshop about interoperability

iUZ CEO as been invited to talk about our expertise in the interoperability field, mainly centred in the Portuguese integration with epSOS network, and the knowledge acquired with IHE Profiles adoption and implementation.
By the way, did you read our last post about us joining IHE?
The conference will also discuss about:

• Healthcare Interoperability
• HIE – Health Information Exchange Solutions
• Healthcare Information Systems
• HL7 Standards
• EHR – Electronic Health Records
• mHealth – Mobile Device Software for Healthcare
• etc.

During HCist, also will be held in the same place the ProjMAN 2014 (International Conference on Project Management) and CENTERIS 2014 (Conference on Enterprise Information Systems). These three conferences are organised by SciKA that aims to promote and disseminate scientific knowledge.

Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.

(images from HCist website)

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Ana Castilho

Electronic Health Records | Stethoscope


 “Why Data Science Holds Great Promise for Health Care?”

This is an interesting infographic that we found and wanted to share with you. Visualize it below.


Electronic Health Records

Datascience@berkeley created this infographic that only has U.S. data, but is fulfilled with important information regarding EHR’s – Electronic Health Records, a real time tool with patient centred records that is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart.

According with the information in the infographic, the electronic health record is a decision making tool “that ‘learns’ from patient histories to identify health status and probable outcomes.” Ilias Tagkopoulos, UC Davis.

Take a look, and tell us your thoughts in the comments about the infographic or Electronic Health Records in general.

(click in the image to view full size)
Electronic Health Records | infographic - Data Science_small


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Ana Castilho

BioSpain - uEDC - Electronic Data Capture



Between the 24th and 26th, we will be at BIOSPAIN 2014, held in Santiago de Compostela – Spain, one of the largest biotech events in Europe and in the world.


Promoting uEDC – Electronic Data Capture

During the event, iUZ is going to promote our electronic data capture solution, by showing our new uEDC Demonstrator. With the Demo, users at the event will be able to understand and test our solution, through a Clinical Study example.


P-BIO and Biocant

iUZ teamed up with P-BIO Portugal – Discovery is in our DNA in this event. P-BIO Portugal is a group of companies organised between P-BIO – Portugal’s Biotechnology Industry Organisation, representing a vast majority of companies in this field, and, Biocant Park, the first Portuguese venue dedicated to biotechnology.

Through P-BIO Portugal, iUZ will join a group of other Portuguese companies in the field, and together they will be able to promote each business and give higher commercial visibility.


What do you think about this type of events? Have you heard about our electronic data capture solution?

Tell us what you think, bellow in the comments.

Opening the Future of Healthcare.
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Ana Castilho

Interoperability - Joining IHE International


Interoperability in Healthcare.  Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE International)

epSOS European Patient – Smart Open Services project was a massive and a key interoperability project for iUZ, as we explained in our business case study. Through this project and some others, we’ve achieved knowledge and experience in the IHE Profiles field.

As we referred, through the epSOS we’ve started to use some IHE Profiles, and we’ve already been to three IHE Connectathons in Europe (Bern – 2012, Istanbul – 2013 and Vienna – 2014), as we explained in this post.

This type of actions gave us the needed experience and background in IHE profiles field, and for that we consider that was time to become an institutional member of IHE International.


We’ve been accepted as a IHE Member Organisation, in the middle of August

But, for those who do not know, what is IHE International?

IHE International – Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise is a U.S. organisation that intends to promote the Health Industry connected to interoperability. IHE aims to improve sharing communication between information systems linked through the creation and development of interoperability standards.

Our membership allows us to contribute in a pro-bono basis, with more than 200 organisations in IHE International. We have associated to the IT Infrastructure Domain, regarding the Technical Committee, where Ivo Pinheiro and Marcelo Fonseca are representing iUZ.
According with IHE, IT Infrastructure (ITI) Domain:

“… addresses the implementation of standards-based interoperability solutions to improve information sharing, workflow and patient care.

This domain, begun in 2003, was originally launched by sponsor Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In 2008, GIP-DMP (Groupement d’Intérêt Public pour le Dossier Médical Personnel) joined HIMSS to help sponsor this domain adding additional user representation in Europe.

Together they are responsible for development and publication of the IHE IT Infrastructure Technical Framework.“ (Source: IHE – ITI Domain)

Throughout the ITI Committee association, selected by us among a range of 22 other committees, we can have a voice participating in meetings regarding the creation and revise of IHE profiles concerning the domain.


epSOS and OpenNCP- Open National Contact Point using IHE Profiles

Our work in Interoperability in Healthcare and in IHE Profiles was mainly during epSOS implementation, and subsequently OpenNCP. We have applied the usage of the following profiles:

  • XCPD (Cross-Community Patient Discovery): The Cross-Community Patient Discovery (XCPD) profile supports the means to locate communities which hold Patient relevant health data and the translation of Patient identifiers across communities holding the same Patient’s data. A community can contain EHRs, PHRs and other systems. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XCPD
  • XCA (Cross-Community Access): The Cross-Community Access profile supports the means to query and retrieve Patient relevant medical data held by other communities. A community can contain EHRs, PHRs and other systems and healthcare applications. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XCA
  • XDR (Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange): Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange (XDR) provides document interchange using a reliable messaging system. This permits direct document interchange between EHRs, PHRs, and other healthcare IT systems. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XDR
  • XUA (Cross-Enterprise User Assertion): The Cross-Enterprise User Assertion Profile (XUA) provides a means to communicate claims about the identity of an authenticated principal (user, application, system, etc) in transactions that cross enterprise boundaries. The XUA Profile supports enterprises with different authentication mechanisms. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XUA
  • BPPC (Basic Patient Privacy Consents): This profile provides a mechanism to record the Patient privacy consent(s) and a method for Content Consumers to use to enforce the privacy consent appropriate to the use. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHEBPPC

Tell us your thoughts, below in the comments.

(image: Chris Potter)



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Ana Castilho

Healthcare Digital Marketing | Stethoscope by Kokopinto


Digital Marketing for Doctors

Are you a digital doctor or work in the field? If so, do you have a Digital Marketing Strategy? Because, every day medicine is becoming more and more digital and social.


Did you know that, according with the next infographic, 41% patients said, “social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility”?

Patients, through the Internet and social media, are becoming more aware, when picking a new doctor.
(Click in the image to view the full image)

Digital Marketing for Doctors | Infographic

These are U.S. data, but do you think in Europe is different? Do you have a Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategy?
Share your thoughts with us, below in the comments.
(image by Kokopinto and infographic by JHG Media)

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