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The Cambridge Cognitive and Psychiatric Assessment Kit (CamCOPS): a secure open-source client–server system for mobile research and clinical data capture

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Burchell, Martin 


CamCOPS is a free, open-source client–server system for secure data capture in the domain of psychiatry, psychology, and the clinical neurosciences. The client is a cross-platform C++ application, suitable for mobile and offline (disconnected) use. It allows touchscreen data entry by subjects/patients, researchers/clinicians, or both together. It implements a large and extensible range of tasks, from simple questionnaires to complex animated tasks. The client uses encrypted data storage and sends data jats:italicvia</jats:italic> an encrypted network connection to a CamCOPS server. Individual institutional users set up and run their own CamCOPS server, so no data is transferred outside the hosting institution's control. The server, written in Python, provides clinically oriented and research-oriented views of tasks, including the tracking of changes over time. It provides an audit trail, export facilities (such as to an institution's primary electronic health record system), and full structured data access subject to authorization. A single CamCOPS server can support multiple research/clinical groups, each having its own identity policy (e.g., fully identifiable for clinical use; de-identified/pseudonymised for research use). Intellectual property rules regarding third-party tasks vary and CamCOPS has several mechanisms to support compliance, including for tasks that may be permitted to some institutions but not others. CamCOPS supports task scheduling and home testing via a simplified user interface. We describe the software, report local information governance approvals within part of the UK National Health Service, and describe illustrative clinical and research uses.



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Frontiers in Psychiatry

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Frontiers Media SA
Wellcome Trust (091998/Z/10/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_17213)
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) (Unknown)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (via Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) (Unknown)