I think that ADAPTABLE is an important study largely because it is the first big medical research project to use electronic health records (EHR), which contains a wealth of information about patient health. In ADAPTABLE, participating health systems use a computer formula to query the EHR data to identify patients that might be good candidates for participating in the study.
Technology continues to be an asset for ADAPTABLE during the study operations phase. Study participants with internet access are able to log into the study portal to complete questionnaires on how they were feeling. Participants can report if they experienced any health events such as a heart attack, stroke, or hospitalization. Phone calls are made to participants who did not have internet access or do not feel comfortable completing the questionnaires online.
The ADAPTABLE research team does not rely entirely on participants self-reporting of health events. Participating health systems map their EHR data to the PCORnet Common Data Model, where researchers can then probe the data to confirm or find additional health events that a participant in ADAPTABLE experienced. To protect a patient’s privacy, all personal identification information is stripped from the EHR and is replaced with a unique identifying code.
The ADAPTABLE team has one more technology-based method of capturing important health data. Many study participants have health insurance and with the appropriate permission, the ADAPTABLE team can check health insurance claims to identify health events that were not reported by the patient or occurred outside of their network health system.
The ADAPTABLE team hopes to provide insights if this model of using technology to enroll and report data is more cost effective than the traditional research model where study participants are enrolled in the research office and return on a regular basis to provide updates on their health.