Field Types and Properties

Data Collection Objects and Attributes That can be Configured on Forms

This article covers all objects and field types that can be placed on forms within the form builder. The mobile app supports some additional field types that are not supported on the web browser. These are noted in the table of contents list below.

Jump to any section:

Adding Fields and Objects To a Form

Common Field Properties

Text Labels

Image Label or Spacer

Help Buttons

Normalized Table

Text

Memo

Email

Bar Code

Number

Vertical Slider

Pain Scale

Dropdown

Radio

Multi-select

Date/time

Partial date

Checkbox

File Upload

Image/Video/Audio

Signature

Sketch pad

Activity Ring

Adding Fields and Objects To a Form

Fields can be dragged out from the toolbox onto the form canvas. Once a field is on the canvas, tap on the desired field to access the corresponding field properties. Examples are shown below on both the web and mobile app interface.

Web Browser:

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Mobile App:

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Each form object has its own set of unique properties. These are included in the corresponding descriptions of each field type below. Some properties are common across all field types. 


Common Field Properties

These are properties common to all types of fields. They can be seen by selecting any field on a form within the form builder.

Field Name (data fields only)

The variable name was given to the field (data fields only). This is alphanumeric with no spaces. This is where naming conventions like CDISC or SDTM  can be used. 

Once data has been entered or the study version is published, the field name cannot be changed.

Remember NOT TO USE any of the system’s Reserved Words when defining the variable name to be used for the fields.

Reporting Label

The more user-friendly name is given to a variable/field. If this exists, it will be displayed throughout the system in place of the main Field name. Ad-hoc reporting and data exports display the field name by default.

Hidden

Hides the field in all scenarios for any user viewing the form in data entry (still shows in data exports). A common example/use-case is where a Number field is being used to compute a value that users don’t need to see during data entry. 

While this can be a useful tool, sometimes it is better to blind a field to specific role(s), so some users are still able to see/verify the data directly on the form.

Field Source Verification (FLSV)

Forces field level review for the workflow review level where FLSV is being enforced. This adds a ‘Lock’ icon next to the field when being viewed by the applicable review user.

Tooltip

Displays text to the user when hovering over the field with a mouse. Web browser only.

Show in Log

Display the field in the log table if the field is part of a Log Form. The web browser will default to use the field reporting label as the column  header. If it is not defined, it will use the field name.

Web Browser:

Mobile App:

On mobile, only the first two log fields will get displayed in data entry.

Required

Make a data variable required when it is not being hidden by a condition. An error displays to the user when the field is left blank.

Required will not work on Checkbox fields, since checkboxes are always either True or False

Conditional Actions

Create custom field logic and edit checks. Read more about conditional actions here.

Layout

Sizing in width and grid location on the form.

Blinding

Select which roles for which the field is to be blinded.  On the web, field blinding is controlled within the Role Security settings. On the mobile app, the same property is accessible via the form builder field properties.

Web Browser:

Read more about blinding here.

 


Labels - Non-data-storing objects

Text Labels

Labels are used to identify items on a Form such as Section Headers or fields.  Labels are used to identify a form field when a form is exported or used in reports. If Labels are long and cumbersome, Users can define a Reporting Label within the Form Field which will take precedence over the related Fields Label.

When a label or design tool is dragged and dropped into the form builder, the label or tool becomes active.  To edit an existing label or design tool in a form, simply click on the label or design tool to make it active. 

An active tool is designated by the field having a moving dotted line (marching ants!).  

When clicked, the Properties for the label or design tool will display in the properties section of the Form Builder as shown in the figure below.

Properties unique to a Text Label

Field 

A label can be related to a specific data field, which will allow for the label to be hidden when a hide conditional action is added to the label’s associated field.

NOTE: The label associated with a field will be displayed as the data field's label in the data extracts if the data field does not have its own reporting label.

Include in Export

Allows the label to be exported in the data extracts.

In the example below, the weight field has two labels, but we want one of the labels to display in the data extracts next to the actual weight value. To do this, be sure the unit label is related to the weight field, and the box to Include in Export is checked.

When a label is exported with the data in a data extracts, it will have a column name matching that of the field it is associated with an "_Label" attached to the end.  For example, in the above image, the "Kg" label will be included in the data exports next to the Weight value (PE_WT) and have a column header titled "PE_WT_LABEL". The label will appear as data down that entire column.

Image Label or Spacer

Displays a static image similar to how a text label displays static text. To select an image to display within an image label, it first must exist in the central Image Library.

ImageLabel_formdata

Use Label as a Spacer

If no image is defined for the image label, it will display as an invisible object which can serve to space objects apart from one another. When using an image label as a spacer, be sure to include the property “Upon Render, Omit Outline”.


Separator

A visual separator bar to split up sections of a form. There is no functional purpose of a separator. They can be conditionally hidden if needed and labeled with any text:

 

Help Button

Help buttons can be used to embed reference information, such as documents, external URLs, or bodies of text into a popup window. They are useful to keep a form simplified and focused on the data entry, rather than putting large amounts of text directly onto the form.

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 10.53.13 AM

The key factor of a help button is what will happen when the user taps on it. There are three options detailed more below. 

  • Open a popup window containing pre-defined text
  • Open a new browser page/URL
  • Open a PDF Consent document (applicable only if the form is used as the study's consent form)

Properties Specific to Help Buttons

Report Label - The text which displays on the help button itself

Webpage URL - Opens a specified web URL in a separate tab for the user’s reference. Alternative to linking to a public URL, read how to create custom web pages within the system to create links to. 

When defining a URL in the help button properties, the complete URL must be defined. Example: http://www.crucialdatasolutions.com .

Not including the protocol (typically http or https) will prevent the page from opening.

Quick Help Text - Opens a window with help text for the user to read

Display Consent PDF - Enabling this will map the button to the consent PDF defined within the Informed consent configuration settings.  Usually mapped to the site-specific Informed Consent document that has been uploaded in the Site Documents Section. 

Using this option will override the other two options above.

The uploaded Informed Consent document that you upload in the site documents must not have any spaces within the file name.

Table (Normalized Table)

A Normalized Table is a sub-form used to log repeating records of data within a single ‘Parent’ record where the table exists. A common example is a Medical History form. Medical history is normally collected just one time during a subject's screening, but the amount of data collected is variable for each subject, so it's often necessary to have a table within the form so the user can enter data all at once.

The alternative to this is a Log Form where the user can enter a record, save it, and then enter a new record.

Normalized Tables can be dynamic or fixed. By default, they are dynamic where the user adds rows on-demand. If set as Fixed, a pre-defined number of rows will be displayed, and the user will be unable to add new ones.

When a Normalized Table is dragged and dropped into the body/grid of the Form Builder, the Form Fields dialog box opens to allow for dragging new Fields onto the table.

In the figure below:

  1. Radio Group form field has been dragged and dropped into the table
  2. The field properties for that radio field can be accessed if the field is selected

NTwebbuild1

To add the column header, type in the Label column highlighted in yellow above. If the header is long, you can use a <br> tag to break the text to a new line when it's displayed in the table. This prevents the column in the table from being too wide when the header text is long.

Properties Specific to Normalized Tables

Fields View/Edit - Select this to open up the list of field types that are included in the table. Drag a new field into the table or reorder fields.

Maximum Rows -Will set the maximum number of rows that can be added to each defined normalized table. The maximum is 100 rows per table.

Report Name - Users enter names for each table to help identify the table when extracting data. For example, a user could enter Medications Table to signify that the information collected in this table contains Medications.

Fixed Rows -Users may want to have a normalized table that has a fixed and required number of rows. The fixed rows attribute allows the user to define a normalized table that has a fixed number of rows. The first field/column in the table is what determines how many fixed rows there will be.

When defining a Fixed Row table, the first column must be a dropdown field. The field choices will determine the number of rows in the table.

Here's a common example in a Physical Exam where specific exams are conducted and all displayed without the user needing to enter one at a time manually.

All choices in that first column will automatically show as unique rows during data entry. The first column cannot be edited by the user.


Data Fields (Data-Storing Objects)

Text

Stores single-line text data (alphanumeric)

Maximum Length

The Maximum Length field allows the Form Designer to set the maximum number of characters allowed in the field. If the Maximum length is not defined, the default length is 10 characters. To designate a Maximum Length for the field, simply enter the desired number of characters for the field to accept

Field Mask

The Field Mask allows the Form Designer to set a pattern of how the text should appear in the field when the data needs to be entered in a certain way.

For example, to create a text field to capture a telephone number, set the Maximum Length to 14. Then, set the mask so that the code appears as a telephone number (###-###-####). When a telephone number is entered in the form, only the numbers and not the dashes will need to be entered. 

The characters described here define what the user will be allowed to enter. Any other character used will be counted as a "literal" meaning it will be displayed as-is.

If the intention is simply to populate a text field fully, when the user does not need to enter any text of their own, field masking should not be used. The suggested method, in that case, is to use a text label and set the label to be included in the data exports.

Special Type 

The Special Type dropdown control allows users to designate the field for a special purpose including:

  • Medical Coding attribute
  • Name of a randomization configuration - for populating a Randomization ID
  • Barcode (mobile) - Adds a barcode scanner to the field when displayed on the mobile app
  • ICD lookup - Allows a user to click on the field to open a quick search for ICD codes. Read more here.

Regular Expression (RegEx) 

This allows a study designer to require specific formatting in a text field based on a predefined expression. Read here for more info about regex functionality. This field property is also available for Memo type fields if longer strings of text are required in data entry.

A Regex error message can also be defined. This will fire as a query if the data entered does NOT match what the expression requires. 

Regexdef1

RegEx Examples

Objective Expression
Only enter numeric characters 0-9 with a maximum limit of six characters ^[0-9]{1,6}$
Alphanumeric string, upper and lowercase characters, with a minimum limit of 10 and a maximum limit of 20 ^([a-zA-Z0-9_-]){10,20}$
Only allow 10 numeric digits ^[0-9]{10}$
Must be a 10-digit US phone number with hyphens included ^\d{3}-\d{3}-\d{4}$

Memo

The Memo Field allows for the storage of large amounts of alphanumeric text information. Common uses for this data type would be notes, comments, or descriptions

Maximum Length

The Maximum Length property allows the Form Designer to set the maximum number of characters allowed in the field. The system default is 3,000 characters. To set a different limit of up to 10,000 characters, enter a value in the Maximum Length property.


Email

The Email Address Field is a text field designed to store text formatted as an email. Only syntactically correct email addresses are accepted in the field when the form is completed.

When an Email Address form field is dragged and dropped onto the Form Builder body/grid, the Email Address Properties appear in the Toolbox as shown in the figure below.

Special Type

One option for setting this field as the Subject's Email, as applicable in ePRO studies.

Mask E-Mail

By checking this, the email will be masked with hidden characters when typing within the form.


Barcode (Mobile App Only)

A Barcode scanner is a text field with access to open a camera (when completed via the mobile app). When the camera is opened, it will scan for one of 21 different barcodes or QR types to pull the text automatically into the data field. Additionally, FDA device registry data can be automatically pulled into other fields on the same form if applicable.

To add a barcode field to a form within the iOS form builder, use the Barcode field type. On the web form builder, use a text field and set the special property type “Barcode” as shown below.

Set the field length to proper length to fit in the entire bar code.  The default is 10.

If a user is entering data via the mobile app, they will be able to directly open the device's camera to scan the barcode ID into the text field by tapping the icon next to the field.

Mobile App:

FDA Device Registry

Barcode fields also have the capability of pulling public FDA information into other fields on the form for the purpose of quickly gathering extra information if the device is registered.

To auto-fill device data from the FDA's database, the following field naming conventions must be used, where the items below need to be appended to the end of each of the corresponding fields:

_DEVBARCODE_003

_EXPIRATION_DATE_003

_LOT_NUMBER_003

_UDI_003

_ISSUING_AGENCY_003

_DI_003

_BRANDNAME_003

_VERSIONMODELNUMBER_003

_COMPANYNAME_003

_GMDNPTDEFINITION_003


Number

Number fields store numerical values. Both decimals and whole numbers are supported. Which numerical format is accepted is determined by the Number Properties selected for the Number field. 

Maximum Length

The Maximum Length field allows the Form Designer to set the maximum number of numbers allowed in the field. If the Maximum length property is not defined, the default length is 6 numbers. To designate a Maximum Length for the field, simply enter a value in the maximum length property.

Decimal Places

The Decimal places field allows the Form Designer to define the number of places accepted after a decimal. For example: To set the number field to display 23.46, the Maximum length should be 5 and the Decimal places would be 2. If the Decimal Place property is not defined - the field defaults to zero. 

Special Type

Slider (Horizontal Slider): Used to provide end-users the ability to slide an indicator on a horizontal slider. This is set on numeric fields only and can be used effectively on pain scale forms. The visibility of that value depends on the settings. This is created within the web form builder by setting a regular number field with the special type property “Horizontal Slider”.


Vertical Slider

The Vertical Slider Scale (VAS) allows the Form Designers to provide a vertical scale in which the user can use their finger to slide on a scale to a particular numeric value if using the Mobile App.


The unique properties for the VAS field are the following:

  • Tick Attributes - This allows the Form Designer to change the size, spacing, and number of ticks that will be displayed on the scale
  • Ball Size - Controls the size of the ball the user grabs and slides up and down.
  • Upper Descriptor - Sets the text to be displayed at the high end (top) of the VAS field
  • Lower Descriptor - Sets the text to be displayed at the low end (bottom) of the VAS field
  • Number of Steps - Works with the step increment to set the high value of the scale. For example, if you have 5 steps and 2 step increments, the top of the scale will be 10. If only 1 step increment was used, the max of the scale would be
  • Step Increment - How many steps will be shown on the scale. If 2 steps are used with 10 steps, the user will see 2, 4, 6, 8, …. all the way up to 20 for the max value of the scale
  • Start Step - The Form Designer can start where to start the bottom of the scale.
  • Score Box - When the user slides the scale up and down the value or “score” of where the slider stops is shown to the left of the slider control
  • Score Label Title - Allows the Form Designer to name the value or “score”. For example, Pain Scale
  • Hide Score Box - If “On” will hide the value or “score” of the slider from the user.

Due to the touch requirement, this field type only renders on the mobile app. The web form will display as manual number entry.


Pain Scale

Stores numeric value data with input limited to pre-defined options on a chart.

A tappable standard numerical horizontal scale of 1-10 is common for use in rating pain.

This can be added by setting a number field’s special type property to “pain scale”.

The field will render on a form only on the mobile app. The web will render this as a number field.

Other than size, there are no customizable parameters for this scale type.

 


Single-Select Dropdown

Stores a coded value along with decoded text for each value.

The Drop Down Field is used to create a list of choices from which a user may select when completing a field on a form. When the user selects a choice the field displays that choice in the Drop Down field in the form.

Field Choices

Accesses the list of choices for editing. Use the tools at the bottom for adding new rows above/below the current selected row, or delete options.

Web Browser:

The value must be a non-negative number starting with zero. No other limits exist regarding the order or sequence they must follow. These values can also be used in scoring scenarios where multiple different choice fields are factors in a computation somewhere else.

Mobile App:

Importing choices from another code list on the same form:

Copying and pasting a choice field is another way to recreate a list in a new field. This can also be done across forms.

Batch Importing Coded Choices

Choices can also be imported in bulk if there are many to create. This is done via a 2-column CSV file:

  • Column 1: Choice Text - Text of the choices you want to import
  • Column 2: Coded Value - Has the value of the choice in the column

The file must be saved using the .csv file extension and placed in the TrialKit folder within your iCloud Drive.

If you uploaded the file to your iCloud drive from another device other than the one you are using, you will need to download it locally.

Tapping the import button below will bring a list of CSV files available to upload from your iCloud>TrialKit Folder.  Select the file you are importing and tap the import file button.

Mobile App:



The "Combine" option allows you to either add to the existing list or start a new one

When OFF it will create a brand new list from your imported file

When ON will append your choices to the existing list of choices already set for the field

Because choice values must be unique, when importing choices, if a value already exists in the choice list that matches the choice list that is being imported, the next available value will be used to assure uniqueness among values.

Special Type - Used to map the choices to one of the following:

  • Country List
  • Language List
  • Visit Interval
  • Inventory Lists
  • Medical Coding attributes
  • Local labs

Adjudication Final

This attribute is only applicable for forms being built to perform adjudication. Enabling this on a choice field tells the system that this variable should be compared during the adjudication moderation step. 


Single-Select Radio

Stores a coded value along with decoded text for each value. These are similar to the dropdown fields described above, but allow the user to see all choices on screen rather than first tapping to expand a list.

Orientation

Allows for displaying the radio choices as a horizontal list or a vertical list.


Multi-Select

Stores a coded value along with decoded text for each value as a comma delimited string. This can be used when a user needs to select 'all that apply' - as opposed to having multiple checkboxes fields.

Once choices in this field are selected, it will display up to five selected choices without the field being expanded. If more than five selections have been made, it will read, for example, “6 selected”. A user viewing the form later on would need to hover or tap on the field to see which choices were selected.


Considering between use of checkboxes or a multi-select field:

  • Checkboxes are separate variables, and will be presented as unique columns in the data exports
  • A checkbox is always true or false (never blank), but a multi-select field can be blank
  • If an edit check is needed to see if 'x' number of choices are selected, checkboxes would be needed

Selecting Multiple Products From an Inventory List

A unique aspect of this field type is with its use when mapped to Inventory via its “special type” field property. It will display an icon next to it which opens a popup reference window of the inventory available at the current site. Here's an example:

MSfieldinvent


Date/time

Date/Time fields are used to collect dates and/or times on a form. For all Subject CRFs, at least one of these is required as the visit transaction date.

Date/Time Type (Time Control)

  • None - (Date only) Only the date will be entered by the user. This will need to be a complete date. If the user deletes a part of the date, the system will auto-fill it to make it a real date. This is the most common option used.
  • Time - (Date+time) Both the date and time will be entered by the user. Due to the field type, this must be a full date+time. Users will not have the option to keep either one blank if only part of it is known. To give users the option to add one or both, we advise splitting the date and time into separate fields or adding a checkbox for the user to tick if one portion is unknown.
  • Time with seconds - Similar to the Date+time field, but including seconds as well.
  • Time Only - The user will enter only a time
  • Time Only with seconds
  • Partial Date -  Read more below

Note: The appearance of the field in the form builder will not reflect the time control option chosen. The form can be tested in the Subject Manager to view how the users will see the field and do the data entry.

By default, all users on the system will see the 24-hour time format on all time fields. Users can independently change their preferences to the 12-hour format if they choose.

When users enter midnight as a time in 24-hour format, some users will input 2400 and others will enter 0000. If entering 24, the system automatically kicks the value down to the next acceptable value, 23. The accepted format for midnight is 0000.


Partial Date

Data stored as text, but displayed to the user like a date. Users will be able to enter a year only, a month+year, or the full date. Any part of the date that is deleted will be auto-completed with zeroes. If the month is deleted, the day will also be automatically zeroed out.  

Partial Dates will only be displayed in the format DD-Mon-YYYY, regardless of the user's preferences.

Points to consider:

  • The system cannot use partial dates as the form's transaction date
  • At this time partial dates do not support edit checks or date comparisons/computations
  • Do not change an existing time date field to a partial date, rather you need to delete and start with a new field and a new field name

Checkbox

Stores a value of True (checked) or False (unchecked).

Checkboxes do not support the 'Required' field property because a value of false is still a value. Similarly, an edit check on a checkbox cannot check for it being blank or not blank.

Text

This sets a visual label to go with the checkbox (not shown in data exports). An alternative to this is to use a label separately like other field types. The difference is, using an embedded label via this property helps the form render the checkbox and label as one object and keep them in better alignment.

Be sure the checkbox width is set long enough to support the text label if it is being used. Otherwise, the text may wrap underneath the checkbox

Paper Consent

Applicable for studies using eConsent, but where some patients in the study are providing consent via any other means. 

If the form where the checkbox resides is the registration form for the study, select this option for one checkbox on the form . The system will use this to check if the patient should be forced to consent electronically or if consent is being provided another way (checkbox gets checked on the registration form for that patient).


Multi-Media Types

All media type fields described below get stored as files attached to a record but collectively accessible within the study's file repository.

File Upload

Stores files that users need to upload. Any format is supported.

In data entry, it looks like this:

When users upload a file, it is stored in the File Repository and attached to the site/subject/form where it was saved. Users will be able to access it from the form or from the file repository.

Data exports and reports referencing a file will display the file name and ID. The files themselves need to be downloaded from the file repository.


Audio, Image, and Video

Stores media files captured directly by the device from the form where it's initiated.

On the web browser, these will be displayed as a file upload field for uploading the media file. They can be added to a form by using the file upload field and then setting the special Type property.

Web Browser:

Mobile App:

On the mobile app, the user can tap to record video or audio directly. Here's a view from the iOS app form builder.


Signature (Mobile App only)

Stores image file of a handwritten signature. This allows a user to use drawing on screen to create a signature image. The Image gets stored as a file on the form - similar to an upload or media field.


Sketch Pad (Mobile App only)

Stores image file of an annotation on top of a predefined static image.

Web browsers will only display the image but not allow for drawing.

Mobile App:

The image itself can be set via the Background property. When a user in data entry draws on top of it, the image gets stored as a single flat file.

The unique properties for the sketch pad are the following:

  • Background Image - Allows the Form Designer to select an image to be displayed as the background of the Sketch Pad. The background images to choose from are in stored in the Image Library. Images will be sized to fit in the size of the Sketch Pad box. In other words, if the image is distorted, adjust the field size to the appropriate height/width.
  • Brush Site (1-20) - Allows the Form Designer to set the brush size that is used to draw on the Sketch Pad area.
  • Color (RGB) - The Form Designer can choose the color of the brush that is used when drawing on the Sketch Pad by sliding the amount of Red, Green, or Blue colors. A preview of the color will be shown in the properties panel. By default, the color is set to black.

Activity Ring - iOS Only

Stores Apple HealthKit activity ring data.

This field allows the user who is entering data, when connected to an Apple Watch, to pull in activity data for that day.

Mobile App: