Partner:
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

BCG BRACE Trial

A digital app to track daily symptoms from over 6000 trial participants across the world for the BCG COVID-19 Vaccine trial. WeGuide created this app in 3 weeks.

Background

Origin of BCG Vaccine

The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine was first trialed in the early 1900s as a vaccine against Tuberculosis. Today, the BCG vaccine is given to healthy babies in countries where tuberculosis and leprosy are prevalent.

First case of COVID-19

The first recorded case of the COVID-19 outbreak originated from Wuhan, China in early December. By February, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, categorised as a pandemic the following month.

Potential of BCG Vaccine

As most Australian's were learning about COVID-19, MCRI's Infectious Diseases Research Group Leader, Professor Nigel Curtis and his team had clues that the BCG vaccine may be able to reduce the severity of coronavirus symptoms. They reached out to WeGuide in hopes of identifying a seamless method to gather participant data

The Challenge

How can we gather daily symptom data from thousands of participants around the world?

Professor Nigel Curtis and his team were met with three different challenges:

Remote Collaboration
How could we scope, build and execute on a platform while fully remote during a global pandemic?


Rapid Turnaround Time
How can we build an app within 3 weeks, given app development often takes 3-6 months?


Complex Data Capture
How can we securely capture data daily from up to 10,000 participants across the globe?

Our Solution

Updating the WeGuide data capture system to fit the needs of the BCG trial
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WeGuide fostered a strong partnership with the MCRI researchers, which helped scope and build the product in rapid time.

We decided the quickest and cleanest solution was to build upon the WeGuide app and integrate it into REDCap as a data capture system.

With the collective effort of a globally distributed team, WeGuide could work around the clock to create a digital solution in just three weeks, instead of months.

Our number one goal was to increase the collection of the most precise and accurate data from the participants involved in the BRACE trial.

Results

The BRACE Trial Symptom Tracker tracks healthcare workers who are unwell on a daily basis for any signs of COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, the app has:
  • Captured symptoms with real-time tracking and data validation
  • Utilised evidence-based behaviour change techniques to keep participants engaged
  • Reduced manual check-ups with automatic alerts of patients at risk
  • Provided study coordinators the flexibility to design their own app.

The app is designed in such a way that the burden on healthcare workers is as minimal as possible to improve adherence. A $10 million grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with other significant Australian-based philanthropy has supported the app's expansion worldwide.

As of February 2021, over 6000 healthcare workers have been enrolled globally. Clinical trials have reached Phase 3 and have an estimated completion date of mid 2021. If you wish to learn more, please visit www.mcri.edu.au/BRACE/trial-update

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