Twins Research Australia (TRA) brings twins and researchers together for vital health research that benefits everyone. Twins are special to research as they help tease apart the effects of nature (genetics) and nurture (environment) on our health. These studies have led to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of health conditions.
TRA’s database was the best part of 14 years old, built on Microsoft Access and in need of a modern web front end to meet the day to day needs of the organisation and its members. In order to achieve efficient data collection and evaluation, it is imperative researchers have the most reliant technological tools available to better synthesise and group information.
Fortunately, TRA was built in two components, an MS SQL database and an MS Access front end. Kiandra’s approach was to build a new front end using the existing back end as well as augment some of the reporting options. Kiandra worked collaboratively with Melbourne Informatics, the University of Melbourne’s internal specialist team to ensure alignment with the informatics platforms from the back end.
Technology plays a key role in collecting, tracking, sharing and even evaluating data for researchers, thus supporting many new discoveries in health research. Technology also streamlines recruitment of twin volunteers for studies thereby assisting researchers to fast tracking their studies and to keep down costs. For these reasons, it is essential for registries like TRA to be equipped with industry-leading capabilities.
TRA used a Microsoft Access Forms solution to manage and report on member and study data in their SQL database, as well as an existing member registration form on their website.
Kiandra proposed to replace these by creating a responsive web application to allow for a seamless member registration and data management process. Kiandra also planned for this web application to have locked down administration functionality while allowing restricted access to researchers.
The plan was for the new web application to utilise the existing database and continue to be managed by the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (MSPGH) Informatics team. Kiandra used AngularJS and ASP.NET Web API to build the new web application.
TRA’s database is now completely modernised from the inside out.
The result is a new member management system that also defines and manages communications, studies and stakeholders as they relate to the members within the Registry. This will enable researchers to better synthesise research data, monitor trends, identify issues, outcomes and manage resources.
It has also streamlined the communication network to better prompt the distribution of educational resources, study information and identify opportunities to engage with members for research purposes. The new system not only records this activity, it is sophisticated enough to identify where twins would fit into future, current or other studies based on member details and eligibility.
The new database now has the following capabilities:
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