POSTED ON May 17, 2022

Guide to Electronic Data Capture (EDC) for beginners


Electronic Data Capture is a system of capturing and managing data in a digital platform. Let’s take a look at a guide to EDC for beginners.

In the past, people used paper and pen to capture data, especially clinical trial data. The sheer scale and complication of various researches make capturing data with paper and pen infeasible. The solution implements an electronic data capture system. The benefits of electronic data capture help capture and process data more efficiently and faster.

Electronic data capture is a generic terminology. In the clinical trial industry, the electronic data capture system processes clinical data. If you are new to electronic data capture systems, hopefully, you have fundamental concepts of EDC and its applications in clinical trials.

What is electronic data capture?

Electronic data capture is a computerized collection and management of clinical trial data from patients and healthcare providers.

An EDC system uses technology to collect and transmit clinical trial data from the patients to the research laboratory. The electronic data capture process reduces errors for researchers and healthcare providers with improved data quality. Moreover, it speeds up the clinical trial process, cutting down on research costs.

Nowadays, people use EDC systems in the clinical trial field, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and even for safety surveillance activities. Thus, many healthcare organizations create custom software development projects to capture clinical data. Software development teams are trying to develop electronic data collection software to process various clinical data.

People may record clinical trial data on paper. Then enter into the electronic case report form or directly into the electronic case report form (eCRF). There are many ways of using EDC systems such as commercial purposes, open-source, and in-house developed systems. This system can be standalone, server-based, and web-based. Healthcare organizations can hire software development teams to develop custom software development for an EDC system.

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List out electronic data capture examples

There are many electronic data capture examples and more are still developing. Somewhere in the Western territories, a clinical trial researcher of a healthcare organization is looking to buy EDC systems for their projects. Or they can use outsourcing IT services to build custom software development projects for an EDC system.

Highlights: Electronic data capture in clinical trials

Healthcare organizations use electronic data capture systems to record specific data related to individuals, for example, patients in research studies. If a biopharmaceutical organization is carrying out a test of their new diabetes drugs on 200 subjects at 10 centers. Thus, each medical center uses EDC systems to enter data about their participating study items.

If the medical centers record the research data in the EDC system. They have to design data forms with the appropriate pages and fields related to the diabetes study. So healthcare organizations use software outsourcing services or an EDC vendor to design the pages and other requirements for their study. Software development teams develop electronic data capture software which is beneficial for clinical research. After that, organizations will train research site users on how to use an EDC system for various studies. With a unique EDC system and research study, knowing how to use an EDC system is critical to producing quality data.

Electronic Data Capture system 

  • Rave from Medidata
  • Oracle RDC from Oracle
  • nowEDC from Datatrial
  • Datalabs EDC from Perceptive
  • Macro from Elsevier
  • REDCap EDC
  • Target Health EDC
  • Medrio EDC
  • Captivate EDC

Electronic Data Capture Tools in clinical trials

Electronic data capture tools provide automated data support for data collection, reporting, query resolution, and validation for clinical trials. Nowadays, there is a trend of greater adoption of electronic data capture tools in clinical trials. However, there is uncertainty related to how many trials are using the electronic data capture system in practice. According to a systematic review of electronic data capture tools (2007), only 20% of clinical trials are using electronic data capture systems.

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Benefits of electronic data capture

Many research organizations are taking advantage of an electronic data capture system over other approaches. Besides, they are trying to leverage new technologies to support and improve clinical trial research.

Electronic data capture provides speedier data access, ensures data security, ensures accuracy, and increases the efficiency of clinical trials.

Faster access to data

An electronic data capture system saves time with real-time access to data and less time on query management. Besides, it also saves time at the end of a research study, which allows access to data for analysis.

Ensure data security

People host an electronic data capture system with data entry in a web-based interface. Software development teams are developing electronic data collection software to ensure the protection and backup of data. Since every user account has designated permissions, most of the actions carry out certain roles.

Make sure accuracy

The electronic data capture system helps improve data quality. People can add constraints on a form preventing inaccurate or illogical variables from being entered. Besides, using an EDC system enables automation calculations for cleaner data.

Increase efficiency of clinical trials

The electronic data capture system boosts the efficiency of clinical trials for its user navigation. Hiring software development teams allows healthcare organizations to build custom software development projects for the EDC system. Search options allow us to easily find and filter what people need and store everything in a location.


Must-have features of an electronic data collection software

Most electronic data collection software vendors are developing new enhancements to update changes in the industry.

Here are some features of electronic data collection software: eCRF, use data entry, managing query and produce data export management.

eCRF Designer – Must-have features in an EDC software

When developing electronic report forms, there are options to imitate paper forms. Healthcare organizations save forms in a library and use those forms across multiple protocols. This reduces the need to recreate used forms and improve data standards. When creating electronic case report forms, edit checkers help prevent invalid data.

Use data entry

After setting up a protocol in the system, people enter the data into the appropriate eCRF.

Managing query

The electronic data capture provides streamlined communication amongst monitors, data collectors, and project coordinators. An EDC system generates queries automatically and can manually add queries.

Produce data export management

When exporting data out of the system, users easily access patient data. Some electronic data capture systems have built-in metrics offering insights into the study’s progress.

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Top electronic data capture software 2022

If you find the best electronic data capture software for your business operators. Using software outsourcing services to develop EDC software or in-house software development teams is feasible.

Here are the Top electronic data capture software for 2022 practices: Upflowy, Research Manager, Forms on Fire, Castor EDC and REDCap.


This electronic data capture software is a no-code SaaS product, giving you control of a signup flow. Users can design, tell brand stories, analyze data points and optimize for business success. You can measure instantly with actionable insights and funnel analytics.

Research Manager

This custom app facilitates engagement in life sciences research with various online research platforms such as EDC, CRMS, ERMS, etc. The electronic data capture software acts as a central point in which researchers access services and information. It allows them to process and improve data quality.

Forms on Fire – Top EDC software

The electronic data capture software uses a no-code cloud platform for mobile applications and web applications. Thus, it empowers every user with an intuitive and easy-to-use and support business platform. Besides, people design with Word & Excel.

Castor EDC – Best EDC software for integrating data

This electronic data capture software helps capture and integrate data from any source on various top-rated EDC systems.

REDCap – A web application for the EDC system

REDCap is an electronic data capture software to build and manage online surveys and databases. This EDC system collects virtual data in any environment while it supports online and offline data capture for operations and studies.

Trends of Electronic Data Capture

In the 1990s people used electronic data capture referred to as remote data capture. As of today’s technologies, these electronic data capture systems are archaic. Besides, it offers a client-server architecture that involves a form of a specialized device.

Today, the integration of an electronic data capture software with other software in the eClinical spectrum is increasingly feasible and essential.

Reliably importing electronic data capture from many sources has become commonplace. The emergence of open-source electronic data capture software and standards for sharing data are key components. It involves accelerating productivity and decreasing costs and the burden related to clinical trials.

Wrapping Up

Electronic Data Capture has been popular in various aspects, especially in clinical trials. While the article provides fundamental concepts of an electronic data capture system, it also highlights Top electronic data capture software in 2022. Besides, we list out must-have features of an electronic data collection software. Our guide to electronic data capture is beneficial for those who want to learn more about EDC systems. If you are interested in developing an electronic data capture software, contact us for further information.

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