The Department of Medical Social Sciences Informatics group is a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in creating research software applications. We collaborate with research scientists and clinicians to develop dynamic applications allowing teams to centralize research activities, develop research instruments, administer studies, and manage data.
For each project, we assess research and clinical requirements, timelines, and study populations, to deliver effective, easy to use software for researchers and research participants. Our software applications are most often used in web-based data collection but can also be used to collect data via standalone computers or IVR (integrative voice recognition).
Our team has extensive experience with:
- Health-related quality of life, item banking, patient report outcomes, and computer adaptive testing
- Development of data collection platforms to collect and store large amounts of data
- Delivery of high-quality study data, following established standard operating procedures for data management and data quality assurance
Features of software developed by MSS-Informatics include:
- Selecting existing Instruments for use in research projects
- Creating new instruments from a pool of items for use in research projects
- Creating new items
- Entering/referencing item or instrument statistics
- Tracking item histories
- Set-up of computer-based data collection methods for research projects
- Uploading consent forms
- Generating study-specific websites
- Registering research participants and administration of research studies
Our approach to security includes a collection of policies, procedures, and practices designed to maximize three characteristics for critical resources: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Our infrastructure for confidential data management includes sophisticated firewall technologies, dedicated database servers, and related technological capabilities. We observe high standards of data security practices for all projects and clients.
Contact Maria Varela Diaz, director, Information Technology, for more information about working with MSS-Informatics.
Maria Varela Diaz
our online data collection tool that enables researchers to create study-specific websites for capturing participant data securely online
Informatics at Northwestern
Northwestern University is a national leader in informatics research, education and application. Learn more about informatics education and research at Northwestern.