Chicago, April 2005 / --
Not only are PDAs being used by field researchers but they are also
finding their way into the hands of research participants. Arming
the participant with a PDA to log their activities offers real time
tracking of data in a relatively cheap and simple manner. The Pocket
PC and Palm OS provide a base platform for developing these surveys
with very specific functionality.
Our new world of handheld devices has opened an entirely new method
for collecting data for research. PDAs can discretely fit into a
purse or pocket, making them more convenient to a would-be research
participant. Along with their attractive size and style, PDAs can
enforce survey rules, present questions based on previous answers,
remind the user to take a survey and even include entertainment
to hold the participant's interest.
The University of Missouri at Columbia had designed and completed
their PDA survey internally on the Palm OS when they encountered
a couple of crucial tweaks that needed low level Palm customization.
"We initially contacted Chicago Software Solutions because
we were not able to find any software with the features and flexibility
to use in our National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported Palm
Pilot study of mood states in psychiatric patients," said Timothy
J. Trull, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences.
"We were pleasantly surprised at how responsive Chicago Software
Solutions was to our initial inquiry. They helped us formulate what
our exact needs would be for the study, and walked us through the
steps of software development that would meet these needs. In addition,
they helped us at several 'choice points' to weigh the costs versus
benefits of additional features. We felt like Chicago Software Solutions
was a true collaborator on the project."
"I would highly recommend Chicago Software to other social
scientists involved in similar studies," said Trull.
About Chicago Software Solutions
Chicago Software Solutions is a full-service,
custom software provider focused on improving business practices
through technology. With experience in database applications, office
tool customizations, Internet development and PDA applications,
Chicago Software Solutions works closely with each client to provide
the solutions they need.