CARP Nervous System (CANS) is a cloud-based runtime infrastructure for management of research studies collecting data from participants. CANS implements an infrastructure according to the domain model specified in CARP Core.

Purpose

CANS is an infrastructure that supports:

  • Study Management – CANS handles a research study including a study protocol and its deployment to different participants using different devices and services (aka. clients).
  • User Management – CANS have two main types of users: Researchers who create, run, and analyse studies, and Participants who are participating in studies. CANS enables user authentication (OAuth2) and authorisation for these users.
  • Data Collection – CANS supports data collection in many ways, including json objects (such as Open mHealth data), files (such as ECG recordings in EDF format), and collections of documents.
  • Data Analysis – CANS allow for setting up data analysis pipelines, which enables data to be analysed using state-of-the-art data analysis algorithm, including ML/AI based methods.

Architecture & Components

CANS Service

The CANS Service is the main service with loosely coupled sub-services for:

  • user authentication & authorisation,
  • json data point upload, storage, and mangement
  • file upload, storage, and mangement
  • research study, protocols, and deployments management
  • data management as documents & collections
  • management of informed consent documents (from Research Package)

Overall, the CANS Service architecture is divided into three layers: Security, Services, and the Persistence layer.

API Gateway

The CANS API Gateway acts as an entry point to the CANS Service providing REST endpoints for its sub-services. It is used for validation of user identity and access (i.e. authentication and authorisation), load balancing, etc.

Study Management Portal

The CANS Study Management Portal is a web application for accessing the CANS Service. The user interface is shown below.

The Study Management Portal allow a researcher to create and manage multiple studies, including creating a study protocols, running several deployments (i.e., instances) of a study, and manage participants and their roles to ensure security and privacy. The Management Portal provides the primary user interface for planning and managing multiple studies, enrolling participants, and managing the assignment of participants to appropriate data sources (i.e., devices).

Data Processing

A simple data processing pipeline allow researchers to write data processing scripts for further analysis of the data collected and stored in the CANS database. A simple python-based API allow researchers to program analysis scripts in Python and deploy these to the data processing pipeline.

Availability / Hosting

The Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (CACHET) at the Department of Health Technology at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) hosts and operates a version of CANS.

Researchers affiliated with CACHET can use this service for creating CARP-based research projects, such as mCardia, MUBS, and DiaFocus. It is important to emphasise that DTU is the data controller of data collected using this CACHET-based hosted service and that this data collection is subject to our privacy policy.

Like all other CARP components, CANS is available as open source. This will allow others to host their own CANS service. However, at the time of writing, the implementation is not stable (or documented) and hence has not been released yet.