Pulse

By GCN Staff

Blog archive

FDA cures data-entry backlog with digital scanning, crowdsourcing

The Food and Drug Administration tapped a Web-based digital scanning service to repair a monthslong backlog of reports submitted to its drug safety database.

The FDA last June notified the public that “unforeseen issues in its data entry operations” had slowed its ability to record reports submitted to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), a database of dangerous drug interactions and other accidents.

The FDA receives about 900,000 adverse drug event reports annually, of which 90 percent are electronic and 10 percent are submitted on paper.

In order to accelerate data entry, the FDA announced a deal with Captricity, a digital optical character recognition scanning service, to speed its paper-reports processing.

Captricity used both its OCR scanning technology and manual data entry by workers supplied by Amazon Mechanical Turk to digitize the paper reports. Amazon Mechanical Turk is an electronic service that solicits individuals via the Internet for digital freelance work.

Captricity, which is a product of the Code for America Accelerator program, offers a software-as-a-service scanning application that gives customers a high degree of control and choice over what content to extract from a document.

The content is presented in a machine readable format. An application programming interface is also available for use by developers. The company has said its solution is as accurate as manual data entry for the FDA, but eight times cheaper and 50 times faster.

Using the service, the FDA was able to reduce its “backlog to zero” in a matter of weeks, the company’s CEO Kuang Chen told CivSource

The company has also received authority to operate within the FDA based on FedRAMP moderate security protocols. Captricity’s user data is also stored on Amazon’s FedRAMP compliant clouds.

Posted by GCN Staff on Jan 08, 2014 at 11:49 AM


Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.