FileMaker and Global Health, with 360Works MirrorSync - Case Study Featuring Caleb Ruth, Owner of Data Performance, LLC, a FileMaker Partner

FileMaker Clinical Data Capture Software Uses MirrorSync:
Learn how MirrorSync is being used in the ConnEDCt app built with FileMaker for medical research and healthcare improvements across the world

At 360Works, we believe in making FileMaker plug-ins and tools with outside-of-the-box thinking to help FileMaker Developers build what works best by extending the functionality of their FileMaker solution to solve real-world problems. The FileMaker Community does incredible work for important causes with the innovation of custom apps, and we are honored to support this. An example of exemplary innovation is FileMaker electronic data capture software used for improving clinical research around the world. FileMaker Developer and Business Owner, Caleb Ruth, was generous enough to spend time sharing with us some of the aspects of his work with health information systems which leverage 360Works MirrorSync.

Introduction: Advancements in Health Information and Research using FileMaker

Caleb Ruth, owner of Data Performance LLC, has been working with FileMaker in the clinical research and medical fields for over 20 years. The FileMaker custom app they currently use in operations is called ConnEDCt. In collaboration on the project is Saurabh Mehta, M.B.B.S, Sc.D., Associate Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology, and Nutrition at Cornell University. ConnEDCt is a joint project between Data Performance LLC and Dr. Mehta to improve the quality of clinical research data.

The ConnEDCt app was designed for electronic data capture (EDC) for clinical research. It supports clinical data capture for longitudinal research, cross-sectional surveys, and randomized controlled trials for research teams in the USA, India, and Ecuador for Cornell University. These global health studies have been published as protocol papers at the registry ClinicalTrials.gov


The Use Case: Accessing FileMaker Data Offline and in Remote Areas

Getting access to data when research is being done in remote areas can be a challenge. The ConnEDCt app is designed for offline use on tablets and laptops in remote regions across the world where clinical research is being conducted. The prior workflow for studies such as this would have been paper-based data capture with double-entry into a spreadsheet, or a lower quality app that doesn’t support the full complexity of the research protocols. The ConnEDCt app was built intentionally with FileMaker and a MirrorSync integration to solve this problem.

Credit: Laura Powis, 2016

The Solution: MirrorSync Syncs FileMaker Medical Records Safely

“We have used MirrorSync from versions 3 to 6 for FileMaker Pro/Go to FileMaker Server. In our experience it is the most reliable technology for syncing FileMaker databases over inconsistent and slow connections,” says Caleb. He also shares that the vast majority of their data is captured in the field and then synced to the secure, central data server which is located in the state of Virginia. Some data may be corrected or updated centrally and then pushed out to their remote users upon next sync. In addition this data is protected health information so they utilize file encryption as well as SSL encryption during syncing.

“We have used MirrorSync from versions 3 to 6 for FileMaker Pro/Go to FileMaker Server. In our experience it is the most reliable technology for syncing FileMaker databases over inconsistent and slow connections.”
- Caleb Ruth, Data Performance LLC

How MirrorSync Works

For users who access the database with FileMaker Go on their iOS device or FileMaker Pro on their laptop, MirrorSync allows these users to work efficiently with limited or no connectivity to the server network. Each user can take a local copy on their iPad, iPhone, or laptop, input the information from the field as they work throughout the day, and then sync when they regain a network connection (at specified times or on demand) to push and pull the latest data to the server. Caleb reports they have the following list of implementations being synchronized with MirrorSync:

  • Randomized Controlled Trial - Syncing 42 tables and ~50,000 records. Subject of Study: Effect of Iron/Zinc-Biofortified Pearl Millet on Growth and Immunity in Children Aged 12-18 Months in India
  • Clinical Surveillance Project - 34 tables and ~12,000 records. Subject of Study: Acute febrile illness surveillance project in a clinical setting in Ecuador. Not yet published.
  • Cohort Study: 90 tables, ~100,000 records. Subject of Study: Nutrition and health surveillance in a community setting in India. Not yet published.
  • Randomized Controlled Trial: 47 tables, ~55,000 records. Subject of Study: Effect Of Multiple Biofortified Food Crops On Micronutrient Status, Immune, And Cognitive Function Among Indian Infants

Total size of centrally managed data that has been synced worldwide: ~ 3 Gigabytes

Conclusion

Caleb and Dr. Mehta are contributing innovative research systems for critical public health needs in the world. They have been able to improve the functionality of their clinical data capture FileMaker app by using MirrorSync to sync FileMaker Go, FileMaker Pro, and FileMaker Server.

At 360Works, we are grateful that MirrorSync plays an important role in the efficiency of clinical research technology. By keeping FileMaker in sync while out in the field and inside remote areas, research professionals are better able to make important scientific discoveries to help solve global health problems.

If you would like to learn more about Data Performance LLC and the ConnEDCt app, please visit http://www.connedct.com. More information about Dr. Mehta’s research can be seen at http://insight.cornell.edu/.

For more information or to download a free version of MirrorSync, please visit 360works.com/filemaker-sync.

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