Electronic Data Capture

Definition of Electronic Data Capture

Electronic Data Capture (EDC) refers to the process of collecting, storing, and managing data generated through electronic means, often in clinical trials or other research settings. It involves the use of computerized systems and software to replace traditional paper-based methods for recording information. EDC streamlines the data collection process, enhances data quality, and improves efficiency in analyzing and sharing the collected information.


The phonetics of the keyword “Electronic Data Capture” is: /ɪˌlɛkˈtrɒnɪk ˈdeɪtə ˈkæptʃər/Where:- /ɪ/ is the short “i” sound as in “bit”- /ˌl/ is the “l” sound as in “light”- /ɛ/ is the short “e” sound, as in “bet”- /k/ is the “k” sound, as in “cat”- /ˈtr/ is the “tr” sound, as in “tree”- /ɒ/ is the short “o” sound, as in “orange”- /n/ is the “n” sound, as in “note”- /ɪ/ is the short “i” sound, as in “bit”- /k/ is the “k” sound, as in “cat”- /ˈdeɪtə/ is the AE pronunciation of “data”- /ˈkæptʃər/ is the AE pronunciation of “capture”

Key Takeaways

  1. Electronic Data Capture (EDC) streamlines and automates the process of collecting, managing, and analyzing clinical trial data, improving data quality and reducing errors.
  2. EDC systems enable real-time access to data, allowing for faster decision-making, early identification of issues, and continuous monitoring of clinical trial progress.
  3. Utilizing EDC in clinical trials can lead to cost savings and efficiency improvements through reduced reliance on traditional paper-based methods, resource optimization, and better compliance with regulatory requirements.

Importance of Electronic Data Capture

Electronic Data Capture (EDC) is a crucial technology term in the modern era, as it refers to the process of collecting data electronically, thereby streamlining and improving data management across various industries.

The importance of EDC lies in its capacity to replace traditional manual methods such as paper-based data entry, which are prone to errors and time-consuming practices.

By digitizing information, EDC enhances the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of data recording, while also allowing for easier storage, retrieval, and analysis.

As a result, industries such as healthcare, research, finance, and business operations benefit from EDC greatly, leading to better decision-making processes, resource optimization, and overall improved outcomes.


Electronic Data Capture (EDC) serves a critical purpose in various industries by streamlining the data collection and management process. As a reliable and efficient technological solution, EDC allows businesses, researchers, and organizations to obtain accurate, timely, and electronically manipulated data for analysis and decision-making.

The core essence of EDC is to replace traditional paper-based methods, which often lead to human errors, inefficiencies in data retrieval, and inconsistencies in data quality. By employing EDC systems, organizations witness a significant boost in productivity, data consistency, and quality, which ultimately translates into better outcomes, reduced costs, and compliance with regulatory guidelines where applicable.

Arguably, the most prevalent application of Electronic Data Capture is in clinical trials within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. EDC systems enable researchers to efficiently and securely collect, store, and manage crucial patient data during the course of trials.

It not only alleviates the overwhelming burden of paperwork but also expedites the data validation process, improves the monitoring capabilities of these trials, and ensures compliance with regulations such as the Good Clinical Practice (GCP). Furthermore, with the advent of cloud-based EDC systems, data accessibility, collaboration, and innovation have reached new heights. Industries like finance, education, marketing, and transportation have also embraced EDC to leverage real-time data analytics to optimize business practices, tailor customer experiences, and extend the scope of their operations.

Examples of Electronic Data Capture

Clinical Trials: Electronic Data Capture (EDC) systems are used extensively in clinical trials to collect, store, and manage data from patients and researchers. EDC helps streamline data collection by eliminating the need for manual input and improving data accuracy. Pharmaceutical firms, Contract Research Organizations, and medical research institutions use EDC systems such as Medidata Rave, Oracle Clinical Remote Data Capture, and Veeva Vault EDC to better manage clinical trial data.

Retail and Point-of-Sale: Retailers benefit from EDC technologies by capturing customer transaction information from electronic payment systems at the Point-of-Sale (POS). EDC systems like Square, Shopify, and Clover handle sales transactions, inventory, and customer payment information. These systems help retailers in reducing human errors and improving efficiency by automating important retail processes.

Environmental and Energy Monitoring: EDC technology plays an essential role in environmental and energy management systems. Remote data loggers and sensors placed in various locations like water bodies, forests, and weather stations capture real-time data, such as temperature, pressure, and air quality. This information is transmitted through EDC systems like Campbell Scientific, HOBO, and Onset, helping researchers and environmental agencies monitor conditions, predict trends, or take timely actions to address potential concerns.

Electronic Data Capture FAQ

What is Electronic Data Capture (EDC)?

Electronic Data Capture (EDC) is a system used for collecting and managing data from various sources in an electronic format, such as clinical trials, surveys, or patient health information. It replaces traditional paper-based data collection methods, improving efficiency, accuracy, and access to data.

What are the benefits of using an EDC system?

EDC systems offer several advantages over paper-based data collection, including improved data quality, real-time data access, reduced data entry errors, easier data sharing, and more efficient management of information. Additionally, EDC systems can save time and resources, leading to lower overall costs for data collection and management.

What are the main components of an EDC system?

An EDC system typically includes features such as data entry forms, validation checks, electronic source data, data query management, audit trails, reporting tools, and systems for data extraction and export. These components work together to provide a comprehensive solution for data collection, management, and reporting.

How is data security maintained in an EDC system?

Data security is a top priority in EDC systems, and multiple protective measures are often implemented. This may include data encryption, secure user authentication, access controls, backups, and disaster recovery plans. EDC systems must also comply with regulatory guidelines related to data privacy and security, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

How do I choose the right EDC system for my needs?

When selecting an EDC system, consider factors such as ease of use, data management features, integration capabilities, scalability, cost, and vendor support. It’s essential to choose an EDC system that aligns with your specific needs and requirements, ensuring a successful implementation and smooth workflow.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Entry Forms
  • Validation Rules
  • Database Management
  • Data Integration
  • Real-time Data Access

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents