The data coordinating center (DCC) of the Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN) is responsible for the support of 11 pulmonary-function testing systems and two quality control systems. Pulmonary-function data from these systems are used as outcome indicators in studies conducted by the ACRN. Each of these systems is composed of a spirometer, a personal computer for data acquisition from the spirometer, a modem, and a printer. These systems are located at six clinical centers nationwide. An analysis conducted at the beginning of the first ACRN protocol identified the following requirements: (1) standard pulmonary-function testing, (2) standard methacholine-challenge testing, (3) the ability to handle simultaneous multiple protocols as well as have data from non-ACRN subjects, (4) the ability to separate data from different protocols as well as separate ACRN and non-ACRN data, (5) the ability to transmit data from the remote clinical centers to the DCC, (6) the ability to ensure quality data and to report on those results, and (7) the ability to provide remote support.
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