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The main differences between Sensivo and eCRFs

A flexible solution to replace the use of Excel in clinical research, and offer an alternative to eCRFs

In our experience, most clinical researchers performing observational studies use spreadsheet software such as Excel to manage their data. Most, if not all, software for clinical data management is built on the Case Report Form (eCRF), that are primarily built for interventional studies/clinical trials and is not well suited for observational studies. Importantly, observational studies account for more than 8 out of 10 clinical studies, with few if any software specifically designed for the purpose. Our primary aim when creating Sensivo was therefore to build a simple, safe, and flexible solution to replace the use of Excel in clinical research, and offer an alternative to eCRFs.

Below are six areas where Sensivo differs from eCRFs.

1. Data view — Spreadsheet view vs. eCRF

In eCRFs, the researcher works with data for one data subject at a time. In observational studies, researchers often work with data on thousands of data subjects at the same time. Sensivo uses a spreadsheet interface, which allows researchers to see the entire cohort at a glance and input or edit data on 1000s of subjects simultaneously. This increases efficiency by many folds.

2. Simplified transition from Excel

Many clinical researchers have collected data in large databases in Excel over long periods of time. Transferring the data from Excel to eCRFs can be complicated and time-consuming. Since Sensivo is built on the spreadsheet format, the organization of data remains the same, and data can easily be transferred using Sensivo’s import template or simply by using copy-paste. The workflow is also very similar to Excel, which makes learning to use the software much quicker.

3. Flexibility

As eCRFs are built for clinical trials where the study design is determined before the study begins, changing or adding variables often requires the researcher to go through multiple steps. In observational studies, the study design is often more flexible and dynamic, where new variables are added continuously. Sensivo allows researchers to add, change, or remove variables with a few clicks in a matter of seconds.

4. Built around GDPR

Sensivo was created as a response to the implementation of GDPR, and the entire user interface is built on the ‘privacy-by-design’ concept, where no personally identifiable information is viewable by default and only accessible with the right user access. Data subjects are pseudonymized and the key to identify them is encrypted and stored separately from health and genetic data.

5. Remote collaboration

Sensivo is fully cloud-based and allows researchers to collaborate with each other from anywhere. Changes made to the data are visible for other researchers in real-time. Inviting new users is a quick and simple process. Sensivo employs a strict role-based system to control user access and logs all user activity.

6. Modern interface and user experience

Sensivo is built to be user friendly and quick to learn. We use modern design, new technology, and the well-known spreadsheet interface so that researchers can quickly understand the workflow, which allows them to spend more time on value-creating research to improve people’s health.



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Stefan Stefansson

Stefan Stefansson

Product builder and the co-founder and CEO of Sensivo.