Where smart research goes to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Knowledge is power. Intrigued by the benefits of eClinicalOS (eCOS) but want to know more? Listed here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear.

What does eClinicalOS do?

We like to think of eCOS from Merge Healthcare as the platform of choice for research professionals when studies are overwhelming, requirements are daunting and reliability is crucial. It’s a highly scalable system that offers all of the support capabilities you need no matter the size of your study or organization. Working from a single, secure platform, you simply flip on the features that help you manage your work smarter — from building your study and managing randomization to endpoint adjudication and archiving results.

eCOS is flexible, so you can configure it precisely to your workflow. Streamlined and sensible, it can be up and running in days. And it’s easy to learn and even easier to use, so you don’t have to be a programmer to make the most of everything it has to offer. [top]

Who’s it for?

The short answer? Anyone responsible for planning, designing or managing a clinical study who’s frustrated by big costs, big hassles, big delays — or, put another way, an overall lack of control. That’s why so many clients (sponsors and clinical research organizations [CROs] of all sizes) in so many research settings (commercial, institutional and academic) in so many countries (80-plus) see eCOS as indispensable. It gives them more of what they want, with less of what they don’t need. [top]

Where does it fit in the clinical study lifecycle?

In addition to data capture and management, eCOS lets you track inventory and supplies, conduct randomization, supervise site operation and performance, manage images and endpoint adjudication, and coordinate reporting. And that’s just the tip of the eCOS iceberg. Through our unique Clinical Configurator™, you can add or subtract a host of capabilities that might be needed along the way such as translation services and patient education. [top]

How is eCOS different from other systems?

eCOS represents a smart approach to study management. What do we mean? Well, it’s smart to use one consistent platform for whatever you need to do. It’s smart to pay for only what you use, when you use it. And it’s smart that the system makes managing your study the easiest part of your day. [top]

What if I can’t afford to risk picking a study management system I haven’t tested?

eCOS is a single platform that consolidates the key study management functions that help drive successful clinical research. Unlike other enterprise solutions out there, eCOS doesn’t require you to sign a multi-year contract or commit large up-front capital investments to cover features you may not need (or even want). With eCOS, you pick which capabilities best fit your study dynamics. Each component or feature shares a common interface, so once you have been trained on how a capability works, you’re already familiar with them all. For those interested in digging deeper, we offer advanced training where you can become a certified study designer in our platform. [top]

Just how configurable is the system?

In a word, “very.” Since every study and organization is unique, eCOS lets you configure key components to naturally align with your workflow. Query types, data formats, fields and field conditions, alerts — you create the rules that drive how your data are captured, managed, presented and reported. You can start with our form templates (CDASH/CDISC compliant) or design your study from scratch. Either way, you can reuse key functions that improve efficiency and enhance standardization. [top]

Why should I give eCOS a try?

Here are three quick reasons (rest assured, we’ve got plenty more).

First, we remove the “wonder” from “I wonder if it works?” We mitigate risk by letting you configure your own study through a Sandbox trial where you get to experience first-hand how eCOS works in a real-world scenario, with no financial commitment or software to install.

Second, we believe in transparency — especially in pricing. You can use our Clinical ConfiguratorTM to quickly and clearly identify the cost of every component in your study right at the start (thereby avoiding the “unpleasant surprises” that often accompany the contracting process).

Finally, its proven track record has given thousands of researchers confidence in our platform. In fact, as you read this, sponsors and CROs are currently conducting hundreds of studies around the globe using eCOS for data capture, management, reporting and more. [top]

What if I can’t risk picking a study management system I’m not familiar with?

We couldn’t agree more. You shouldn’t risk your study (or reputation) with an untested system. That’s why tens of thousands of researchers, eight of the top 10 pharma companies and eight of the top 10 CROs along with hundreds of smaller organizations worldwide have selected the eCOS suite as their go-to study management solution. [top]

I’m running a study with multinational sites. Can eCOS handle all of that?

Because the TransPerfectTM translation function is seamlessly integrated into the platform, you can use eCOS to conduct your study and import/export source documents in more than 80 languages (visit our Translation section for a complete list). With users in more than 70 countries worldwide — and with research built on the eCOS platform steadily expanding in Eastern Europe, India, South America and Asia — our platform is ready to grow wherever you go. New languages and dialects are added to eCOS regularly to ensure it remains a valuable tool to your organization as you open new markets and capture new opportunities. [top]

TransPerfect is a trademark of TransPerfect Translations International, Inc.

Can I use eCOS in any therapeutic area?

Yes. One of the keys to the rapid growth of the eCOS user base is its extraordinary flexibility. Researchers in virtually all therapeutic categories have discovered the power eCOS gives them to design and conduct studies that are tailored to their precise requirements. Whether for research on a promising compound or an innovative medical device, the eCOS system is prized by clinicians, executives and administrators who know they can rely on it for all of their study management needs. [top]

So with proposals, contracting, installation and training, how long does it take to get a study going?

eCOS can be put to work in a matter of days. Not months. Days. Seriously.

The “time equals money” truism is felt more acutely in clinical research than nearly any other industry. If your team is ready to dive in, eCOS training typically takes one to two weeks, so your study can be underway almost immediately. In fact, about 90 percent of the trials we help clients design and launch go live within days.  If you know of a system that lets you design and launch a study faster than eCOS, please let us know. We sure haven’t heard of one yet. [top]

Are reports and exports an additional charge?

All reporting and exports are part of the system so you can run as many as you’d like as often as you’d like. And you can export your data in a variety of formats. eCOS also offers advanced reporting through a powerful data analysis and visualization system created specifically for clinical research professionals. Available in the eCOS Marketplace, its most valuable features include intelligent filters, drag-and-drop charts and graphs, and an interactive dashboard offering a high-level study overview. [top]

How does the cost of eCOS compare with the other top systems?

In the end, cost is a measure of value — “what do I get for what I give up?” That’s where eCOS and our pay-as-you-go model really shine. What you give up are costly up-front IT investments that lock you into one system for years with features you may not ever need or want. What you get in return is a flexible platform that lets you choose only the functions and features you need, when and where you need them. [top]

Since eCOS can be a self-service system, what support do you offer?

We offer the following levels of support:

  • You can call or chat online with the eCOS Support Center that’s staffed 24/7/365

  • Expert eCOS-Certified Designers are available to help with study design, real-time troubleshooting or just about any question or need you may have

  • Available online documentation, training manual and videos

For more information, please visit our Support Center at www.elinicalos.com [top]

I’m sold. Now what?

Complete this sentence: “If I could choose a couple of spots where I absolutely need a better handle on study management, I’d pick ________.”

With those answers in hand, you can access the eCOS Clinical Configurator and select the exact capabilities you need. As you add features, you’ll appreciate (and might even be surprised by) our transparency — you’ll always see a running total of your complete estimate. No need to wait weeks for lengthy proposals and budgets. Once you finish the Clinical Configurator, you can start building your study, schedule training or talk with us to answer any questions you may have.  [top]


Watch our webinar: "eClinicalOS The Single Solution"

With over 15 built-in optional modules and system features, you can configure eCOS any way you like. Randomization, dispense, ePRO and other versatile options can be added with a simple mouse click. Only need one module? We can do that too. A single sign-on gives you access to an entire suite of tools to manage and run your trial. Click the button below to access our webinar “eClinicalOS The Single Solution."

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Speak with an expert.

If you would like to learn more about our eCOS platform, request a free Sandbox account or contact our team of experts at 866.387.4257.