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Game changing digital app will transform the delivery of south London research

A game changing digital app will transform the delivery of research, according to CRN South London’s Head of Business Intelligence, Jessica Smith.

The research portfolio scoping app was created by CRN South London, CRN Wessex, CRN Greater Manchester and CRN South West Peninsula; the app allows users from across the 15 Networks in England to log, identify and flag NIHR portfolio studies that require tailored support from each direct delivery team.

Each Network’s direct delivery team will help studies to meet their recruitment targets in non-NHS settings, such as care homes, prisons and schools.

Jessica said the app will help managers avoid duplicating actions to support research in health and social care settings. She said:

“The feedback about the app from people working within research delivery has been really positive, which is very encouraging. We wanted to create a tool that is user friendly, to allow managers to easily identify and share information about studies that require support from the direct delivery team.

“This is an app created within Google’s pre-existing AppSheets application, which is a game changer as it allowed us to easily build an app for users to record study data and flag study performance issues without having to pay a software company to develop the system. AppSheets has numerous benefits that we will utilise as we work through the next stages of this project, particularly in terms of managing the workforce and highlighting the impact of the direct delivery teams over time.”

A user guide has been created to give those working on clinical trials the knowledge they require to use the portfolio scoping app.

CRN Greater Manchester’s Digital Projects Manager James Bond-Simmons said:

“Developing the application was a fantastic opportunity to work on AppSheets with some very talented colleagues from across the CRN. It truly was a collaborative effort that made the most of each of the group’s skill sets. We were provided with the opportunity to further develop our skills and knowledge of this new product, which will be a great asset to the NIHR’s digital workspace.”

CRN Wessex’s Business Intelligence Manager Graham Halls said:

“The app allows each Network to easily identify existing studies that are being delivered outside of traditional care settings, and share these with other CRNs for their review. This reduces the need for individual study assessments and should result in the identification of a larger portfolio.

“Collaborating with the other three Networks has been a great experience. All of us brought different skills to the team and we were all happy to meet often to progress the project, and in the process train each other on how to use Google’s AppSheets platform.”

Feedback to the project team can be submitted directly through the application. For more information about this project, please email