Research Projects (Third party funds)


eResearch Tool PIA-App

Our eHealth tool PIA (Prospective Monitoring and Management App) was developed to simplify, modernise and update epidemiological data collecting and to improve participants' response and compliance. By using PIA (mobile and web version, Android and iOS), infection symptoms can be recorded in real time by study participants. Thus, recall bias can be avoided and sampling of symptomatic swabs for detection of the causal pathogen is enabled. The application provides reminder functions to ensure a rapid reaction of the participants, which is indispensable especially for the detection of possible pathogens.

As an eResearch system, PIA also offers interfaces for participant management, the examination team in the study center or researchers. PIA is designed to be integrated into the IT systems of ongoing studies like the German National Cohort. It also works as stand-alone system. The aim was to develop a tool that is easy to use and can be flexibly adapted to different research questions and contents. The programming principles of PIA include IT security and data protection, as well as a user-friendly and motivating design. We included participant feedback features such as individual laboratory reports display and a statistic module with disease frequencies in the particular cohort.  Researchers can implement questionnaires and develop algorithms to make questionnaires appear at specific times or after specific events. PIA is suitable for the collection of different data formats. For example, sample IDs (barcodes) can be scanned after a biosample has been taken, or vaccination passes can be photographed.

The performance indicators and user acceptance of the app will be regularly analyzed and the usability of the app will be continuously improved and extended by new elements, e.g. gamification.



  • Dr Stefanie Castell

    Deputy Head of Department Epidemiology and Scientist


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