Galaxy Hospitals Medical ResearchBy BroadVision on December 19, 2016
Galaxy Hospitals uses Vmoso to help medical researchers plan, prepare and execute their studies, Vmoso lets them engage with both the physicians who can benefit from research findings, and patients in the trial cohorts.View Transcript
Dr Sandra Baker is a young researcher at Galaxy Hospitals. She’s got plenty of ideas and lots of enthusiasm, but hasn’t published many papers yet, so she struggles each time she applies for a grant.
She’s planning a study about the relationship between the environment children grow in – including nutrition, physical activity, pollution and exposure to pesticides – and their growth. In addition to the statistical snapshot this study would provide, she believes that indicators can be found to help prevent environmentally-induced pathologies that develop unnoticed.
Sandra has published a short abstract of her project in Vmoso, inside a public space which can be read by anyone from Galaxy Hospital who’s interested in pediatric research. A few physicians have answered her message, giving her a few extreme examples of children affected by pathologies which, they suspect, could be related to their lifestyle.
One of them, Dr Felz, has also contacted her in a private chat to share some data about cases which could help Sandra refine her research topic. His message includes his findings in an attached file, and a reference to Sandra’s original post, making it clear why he is contacting her.
From the data shared by Dr Felz, Sandra is able to see a pattern, but of course that’s just a suspicion. In the hope of discovering more supporting data, she comments on her original post, asking readers to point her to any data that could confirm or deny her initial findings.
Shortly afterwards, she gets an email from Dr John Martinez, from another research institute. John is currently trying to push forward a very similar project, and he’s been given Sandra’s details by Dr Felz. John is interested in joining forces, so that they can present a more robust project for a grant application. An abstract of his project is attached to the email.
Sandra decides to grab the opportunity and transforms the email into a Vmoso chat. As she does this, John receives a notification email, which is also an invitation to join Vmoso to gain full access to the chat. He registers, and becomes an external member. He can now collaborate with Sandra, but doesn’t yet have any access yet to the data shared only with Galaxy Hospitals.
John and Sandra work together to refine the abstract. Sandra creates a Vmoso space to share all the related documents, and gives John access to the space. They collect data which they either upload to Vmoso, or simply share from existing Galaxy Hospitals data already present in Vmoso.
After a few weeks of work, Sandra and John feel that their project is very solid, but still lacks some details regarding the recruitment of subjects for the clinical trials. Neither of them is very experienced on this topic, so they decide to gather some knowledge about it.
Sandra navigates the Vmoso posts and finds a couple of topics about cohort recruitment. She quickly gets lost in all the explanations she reads, so decides to look at the connections between those topics and users. For that, she switches to the knowledge map of the posts, which show relationships between discussions, documents, and users.
She quickly finds a researcher who is involved in many cohort selection discussions. Dr Victoria White is a recognized expert on this topic so Sandra invites her help in her study. That’s done very simply by adding her into the discussion already taking place with John.
By going through the discussion, Victoria is able to quickly understand the research topic, which she immediately relates to. She suggests a cohort recruitment process which is added into the grant application documents.
Finally, the application is ready to be sent to the granting body that they have decided to apply to.
The grant application has been well prepared, and shortly afterwards the team receives the approval and is able to start the research.
In order to organize the collaboration necessary for the project, Sandra creates a spaces in Vmoso to share documents and discussions with relevant and authorized participants.
A company-wide space is created to share status announcements about the project, and build up traction inside Galaxy Hospitals.
A restricted space is created, shared only with the core team, for all the discussions and documents which the team need to keep private.
Other private spaces are created to collaborate with individual physicians helping with the cohort selection and management, and also with the patients families to share instructions, news and advice with them.
In order to find potential patients, Vmoso is integrated with the electronic medical records system. A query is done through Vmoso and the results are returned to the selected Vmoso thread from the records database. This avoids the need for Sandra to switch between multiple tools and automatically makes the data available to all project researchers.
Because each patient has Vmoso access through Galaxy Hospitals, the potential trial patients will be notified about the research project through both Vmoso and email, allowing them to choose the communication channel they prefer.
Once enrolled, the patients’ families can interact with the research team through either the Vmoso-enavled MyGalaxyHospitals app, or directly through Vmoso.
In addition to the news and advice pushed to the patient families through their Vmoso app, the families are also asked to complete questionnaires relating to the lifestyle of their children. For example, how much time their child spends exercising, how much fruit and vegetables the child eats, etc.
The questionnaire results are made available to the physician following the child, and to the research team. The physician has the opportunity to double check with the family whether the answers are correct, and to correct them if needed, before the data gets fed into the study database.
Whenever physicians have doubts or need to discuss specific aspects with the research team, they can use either the global post, or one of the private chats each of them has with the team.
After 5 years of research, the study delivers interesting results, but Sandra’s objective is to have at least 15 years of data. Sandra and her team are able to use the data recorded in Vmoso to quickly build a grant extension application, and they succeed in obtaining a 5 year extension.
If a researcher requires a test using specialized medical equipment during the course of the project, they can book a time through Galaxy Hospitals’ equipment rental portal, which is integrated with Vmoso. A Vmoso task is created including both the equipment booking team and the equipment operator.
The researcher can then communicate with the equipment team through Vmoso with any questions. When the test has concluded, the results are added to the task.
Dr Felz is also very satisfied with the outcome of this study. Thanks to the communication channels he has with the research team, he is able to get early access to the study results. This helps him advise families in the best way possible to improve the health of their children.
Vmoso helps the research team plan, prepare and carry out their studies. It improves the communication and collaboration between the research team, the patients, and interested medical professionals, resulting in faster, more accurate results.