Background: Data management is an important, complex and multidimensional process in
clinical trials. The execution of this process is very difficult and expensive without the use of information
technology. A clinical data management system is a software that is vastly used for managing
the data generated in clinical trials. The objective of this study was to review the technical features of
clinical trial data management systems.
Methods: Related articles were identified by searching databases, such as Web of Science, Scopus,
Science Direct, ProQuest, Ovid and PubMed. All of the research papers related to clinical data management
systems which were published between 2007 and 2017 (n=19) were included in the study.
Results: Most of the clinical data management systems were web-based systems, which were developed
based on the needs of a specific clinical trial in the shortest possible time. The SQL Server and
MySQL databases were used in the development of the systems. These systems did not fully support
the process of clinical data management. In addition, most of the systems lacked flexibility and extensibility
for system development.
Conclusion: It seems that most of the systems used in the research centers were weak in terms of
supporting the process of data management and managing clinical trial's workflow. Therefore, more
attention should be paid to design a more complete, usable, and high quality data management system
for clinical trials. More studies are suggested to identify the features of the successful systems
used in clinical trials.