Open source software tapped for large, long-term heart study

OpenClinica Enterprise will be the electronic data capture and clinical data management solution for the Abuja heart study, a long-term effort involving as many as 10,000 patients from multiple sites across Nigeria.

The study will help scientists understand the role of socio-cultural and hereditary factors in a specific population. The goal is to help health officials devise targeted policies for prevention and control.

"This study has some specific requirements for its electronic data capture and data management needs," says study director Uchenna Onyeachom, in an announcement. "We require a lightweight, standards-based, and regulatory compliant system that can function well in resource-constrained settings and is intuitive to remote users with minimal training."

The study is being likened to the Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts, a project of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Boston University begun in 1948 to identify characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease by following its development over a long period of time in a large group of participants who had not yet developed overt symptoms of the disease. Researchers recruited 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, and began the first round of extensive physical examinations and lifestyle interviews. The subjects return every two years for a detailed medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. In 1971 the study enrolled a second generation: 5,124 of the original participants' adult children and their spouses, and in 2002 it enrollment of a third generation of participants, the grandchildren of the original cohort.

Collaborators on the Abuja study include the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, Byrne Healthcare, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, and Healthsystem Plus.

- read the OpenClinica announcement
- visit the Abuja Heart Study website
- visit the Framingham Heart Study website