The ProofPilot Blog - Design, Launch & Participant in Research Studies

Calculated Data Elements in ProofPilot

If you know anything about ProofPilot, you know we’re about more than data. ProofPilot study tasks might be rewards, informational givebacks, or even interventions.

But, data collection remains an integral part of ProofPilot. Previously collected data trigger later tasks. That previously collected data could be participant self-report. It could be pooled from external data sources or connected health devices. Or, it could be submitted by a study professional.

Now, you can trigger activation and expiration criteria based on calculated data.

Let’s say you only want participants in your study with a BMI over 25. How many people can accurately report their BMI? Not many. You could ask people to run the calculation themselves. A professional could do the calculation with the participant during a study visit. Both are inefficient to the point of being impractical for most studies.

With data calculations, you can ask a series of questions most participants do know. You add two items to your eligibility questionnaire: What’s your weight? What’s your height? And then use ProofPilot’s new data calculation feature.

ProofPilot records the resulting data just like any other collected data element. So, you can use them in eligibility criteria, arm assignment criteria, survey skip patterns, and activation and expiration rules. Every collected data element is also available in your data for reporting and analysis.

ProofPilot supports the following calculation operations: 
– addition/subtraction
– multiplication/division
– to the power of
– minimum/maximum
– average of
– days from

You can use the following elements in calculations
– numerical answers
– dates
– other calculated data elements
– scores associated with multiple choice, Likert scale or single choice answers

The experience to create calculations is currently in beta mode. We expect to make significant user interface changes. And there is one big limitation currently. You are only allowed one operation per element. So, to calculate BMI, you need to create several independent calculations:

  1. feet into inches (height in feet x 12)
  2. height in inches (feet into inches + inches height)
  3. height in inches to the power of 2
  4. weight multiplied by 703
  5. and finally to get BMI “the result of weight multiplied by 703” divided by “the result of height in inches to the power of 2”

Note how the dropdown that is filled with “Calculate BMI.” You must associate each calculated data element with an existing assessment or survey.

How Do You add Calculated Data Elements?

We intend to make various usability updates to calculated data elements in the near future. However, the feature is available for those who are willing to dig a bit and deal with a user experience that might not be to typical ProofPilot standards.

All calculated elements in each study are created on one page. You can access this page under the activation rule wizard in each task activation and expiration criteria.

Other notable changes in this release

  • all numerical questions now include the option of adding a minimum or maximum value.
  • All study e-mail messages come from the study primary investigator. In the past, notifications came from “New ProofPilot Task.” This change makes the study seem more personal and will improve engagement.
  • minor participant layout improvements
  • usability improvements for e-signatures
  • Minor usability updates to task intro page. A participant can now click on the image or title/subtitle to begin the task.
  • minor fixes to push notifications
  • improvement to screen advance handling in surveys
  • bug fix for some users who could not enter a last name
  • improvements in usability for Likert sliding scales on Android

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