‘Research for health and innovation organiser’ sets out to streamline the ethics review process…

Categories:Director's Corner

During our recently concluded Forum 2012, COHRED unveiled the online platform ‘Research for Health and Innovation Organiser’ (RHInnO) which provides researchers with access to an easy to use automated system that enables researchers to keep track of the entire life-cycle of the research process.

Basically, RHInnO enables users, researchers and research institutions to register research projects, issue calls for proposals, and manage the research data and to publish the research results.

Of particular interest to Research Ethics Committees (RECs) is the ‘ethics’ version of RHInnO, which enables RECs to streamline the ethics review process, produce reports and track the progress of projects. The purpose of the platform is to facilitate an efficient ethical review clearance of clinical research involving human subjects. In doing this, the platform helps to speed up the review process by improving efficiency.

The platform provides research ethics committees with a secure, web based solution for tracking research applications. This will improve control of research activities by the RECs and will contribute to safer management of submitted materials and minimise delays in communication within RECs and with researchers. Moreover, RHInnO will enable the committees to share standardised research regulation documents. These could include the standard operating procedures for RECs and/or research review guidelines.

More specifically, RHInnO takes away the complex process of creating paper-based data collection using a simple web-based application. The system offers a secure platform that allows users to enter and manage information about research projects and proposals, including details about the principal investigator, reviewers, funding sources, descriptions, comments and supporting documents.

As is demonstrated in our video on RHInnO, not only is the available data encrypted, but users also have access to various interfaces that provide users with a multiplicity and diversity of information. In addition, users can access a list of recent actions and alerts (e.g. the system will alert a user when a project is not complete, or when a new project has been submitted or approved). As such, the system sends reminders to different user profiles (administrators, reviewers, researchers) with prompts for them to respond to pending requests.

Users are able to analyse the progress of a particular research project and produce status reports all of which makes RHInnO an excellent tool for monitoring and evaluation.

The platform has already been well received by the various countries that are part of our MARC project (Mapping African Research Ethics Review Capacity; http://www.researchethicsweb.org/) which is funded by the EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) and jointly operated by COHRED and the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative (SARETI) (http://sareti.ukzn.ac.za/Homepage.aspx).

The Web4Development team at COHRED created RHInnO. The team is striving to maximise the impact of research to improve health, equity and development by utilising the power and reach of the world-wide-web. The team provides web-based solutions to empower people around the world to effectively share and develop information related to research and innovation.

This work supports the aim of COHRED to strengthen the governance and management of systems, in low and middle-income countries, to use research, science and technology and innovation to improve health, equity and development.

To arrange a demonstration of how RHInnO can simplify your ethics review process, contact: abreu@cohred.org

Also visit the RHInnO site http://rhinno.net

Best wishes,


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