Selecting a Data Collection Tool

Multiple data collection tools can be used for research with HealthMeasures. Know your requirements to select the tool best suited for your work.

TIP: If you are using NIH Toolbox® measures of cognitive, motor, and sensory function, use the NIH Toolbox iPad App. It is the only tool that includes all NIH Toolbox measures, automatic scoring, and user support.

To select a data collection tool:

  1. Use the Search & View Measures to identify what tools currently include all of the measures of interest.
    • Computer adaptive tests (CATs) and most NIH Toolbox measures require a computer for administration.
    • Try the PROMIS CAT Demo>>
  2. If you have a data collection platform you use and like now, consider adding HealthMeasures self- or proxy-report short forms. You can utilize the HealthMeasures Scoring Service for free to produce scores when it is time for data analysis.
    • If you want to use CATs, consider integrating the Assessment CenterSM API with your system. Learn more>>
  3. If you need to integrate your data collection within an electronic health record (EHR), check with your local IT team. Some PROMIS measures are included in Epic since its 2012 release. The HealthMeasures team can aid in local integration. Learn more>>

Commonly Required Features

Data Collection Tools has more information about all of the options shown here.

Offline/Mobile Device

  • The NIH Toolbox iPad app enables offline data collection on an iPad.
  • The REDCap mobile app includes selected HealthMeasures for offline data collection on a mobile device. Currently, a user would need to use the HealthMeasures Scoring Service to calculate scores.


  • Many online data collection tools include HealthMeasures including CATs, in their measure libraries. This enables online data capture on a range of devices in a variety of settings. Online tools:
    • Assessment Center, Epic, AOPOC, API users (e.g., REDCap, OBERD)

Non-English Languages

  • Some data collection tools enable administration of non-English measures. These include:
    • REDCap, Assessment CenterSM, NIH Toolbox iPad app


  • Some data collection tools are supported by grants and institutions, not the individual researcher. If you do not have a budget for data collection, identify what options are provided by your organization. Examples of tools with costs covered by grants, institutions, or advertisers:
    • REDCap, Epic, OBERD (free for some researchers), web-based survey companies
  • Research budgets can support off-the-shelf software applications and paper administration. Examples of low cost tools:
    • Assessment Center, NIH Toolbox iPad App, Assessment Center API, web-based survey companies
  • Research protocols that have unique needs are best suited to a custom software application solution. Contact us to learn more about our technology services.