Triggering Logics, or TL for short, for an Activity, specifies when the Activity should be prompted to the participant. Avicenna supports 4 types of Triggering Logics:
- User TL specifies that the participant decides when and how often to start the Activity and respond to it.
- Time TL specifies the Activity should be prompted based on a certain schedule.
- Proximity TL specifies that data from Bluetooth Beacons determine when the Activity should be prompted.
- Public TL allows anyone to answer your survey anonymously even without an account. You just need to share the link with them.
Not all Activities support all different Triggering Logics. For example, while Survey Activities can have any of the above TLs, Matrix Reasoning or Time Use cannot be prompted via a Proximity TL.
A User Trigger Logic (TL) directs Avicenna to place a button on the study's homepage, labeled with the given caption. Each time the participant clicks this button, Avicenna creates a new session for the Activity. To set up a User TL, simply choose a caption and an icon for the button. You also have the option to define TL Criteria.
The following image shows how Activity with User TL is presented on the study homepage in the app:
|User Triggering Logics Presentation in the App|
As you can see in the image above, activities with User TL will appear under the Optional Activities section. The title of this section can be changed to any name you want. To do this follow these steps:
- Go to the Basics page.
- Scroll down to Participant Triggered Activity.
- Set the title to the name you want for your user-triggered activities.
Avicenna won't send notifications to participants for activities started through User TL, unless you specifically ask us to do it for you. This is because the participant is already using the app. So, any automatic notifications for your activity won't go out if you start the session with User TL.
A Time TL specifies a schedule based on which the Activity is prompted to the participant. The following image shows the dialog for adding a new Time TL to your Activity:
|Time Triggering Logics for Activity|
In the setup dialog, you'll need to specify the timing for the first prompt, the frequency and pattern of any subsequent repetitions, and when these repetitions should end. Similar to other Triggering Logics, you can define a Criteria for this process. Additionally, you have the option to choose a caption and an icon for the button that Avicenna displays on the participant's homepage for the prompted session.
The first configuration for Time TL, Time Format, specifies whether you want to configure the schedule in Absolute or Relative terms.
If you select the Absolute option, the time you specify will be set to a
specific date and time, such as
2020-12-04 12:22:00. With this setting, the
Activity will be prompted exactly at this specified time.
If you select the Relative option, you specify the time as duration. Avicenna then calculates the exact time for the Activity to be prompted by adding this duration to a base time. The base time can be either the participant's Registration Date or Time. Registration Time refers to the exact date and time when the participant joined your study. Registration Date refers to the beginning of the date on which the participant joined your study.
Following this, you specify whether you want to prompt the Activity at a time randomly chosen from a time window or at a certain time. If the former, enable the Period option.
If you select the Period option, you'll be asked for a start and end time to
pick a random time from. For the
Absolute time format, you give specific start
and end dates and times. With the
Relative time format, you set start and end
times relative to a
Base Time. Avicenna adds these to the base time to find
the period. Then, it uses either a Uniform or Normal distribution method to
randomly choose a time within that period.
When setting the Base Time to Study Registration Date in a Time Trigger Logic (TL), if a participant registers after the lower bound of the first trigger, no sessions will be generated for the day of their registration. In this scenario, session generation starts the next day after their registration. However, if a participant registers before the lower bound of the first trigger, they will receive a session on their registration day within the specified time frame of the trigger.
After defining the time of the first prompt, you can decide whether your Time TL should be repeated or not. A Time TL can be repeated Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly. You also need to specify when the repetition should end.
Let's go through setting up a Time TL for a clinical trial where we aim to assess how participants' mood and stress levels fluctuate at different times of the day. In this scenario, we want to prompt a survey every day at a random time between 8 am and 8 pm. We want to prompt the survey for 1 month after the participant joins the study. Here's how we set it up in Avicenna:
- Activity Name: Daily Mood and Stress Assessment
- Type of Trigger: Time TL
- Time Format: Relative
Creating a Randomized Assessment Window:
- Period Option: Enabled
- First Trigger: We define the first trigger as between
0 days at 08:00:00and
0 days at 20:00:00. This creates a 12-hour window within which assessments can occur.
Adjusting for Participant Entry:
- Base Time: We check the Study Registration Date, so when the First Trigger period is added to it, it always ends up being between 8 am and 8 pm.
Randomizing Assessment Times:
- Distribution Function: We choose the Uniform distribution to randomly select assessment times within the 12-hour window each day.
- Repetition: We use Daily every 1 day, ensuring that participants receive their mood and stress assessment prompt at varying times each day.
Deciding When to Stop:
- End Repetition: We choose
After 31 days at 00:00:00. marking the conclusion of the daily assessments.
The setup should be like the image below:
|Example for Time Triggering Logics for Activity|
Through this setup, participants will receive random prompts for mood and stress assessments each day within a 12-hour window, offering insights into how their emotional states change during different times of the day. This method allows for a dynamic and comprehensive analysis of daily mood and stress patterns in the context of the clinical trial.
Future Session Generation
When a new participant joins your study, for each Time TL of each of your study's Activities, Avicenna creates the sessions they are expected to receive in the future. Therefore, you can see ahead of time when a given participant is prompted with which Activity. For longer studies, the number of sessions generated this way can be very large. To manage this load, Avicenna generates a limited number of sessions and generates more as needed, following the logic explained below.
- When a participant joins your study, for each Time TL, Avicenna generates up to 50 sessions.
- If the TL requires more sessions, Avicenna marks it as such.
- Every time the number of sessions for such TLs drops below 25, Avicenna generates another 50 sessions.
- The creation of new sessions occurs whenever the study is reloaded in the participant's app. This can be initiated by the researcher reloading the study on the participant's device, the participant pressing the 'Reload Studies' button in the app or various other circumstances. For additional details, please refer to the Audit Trail's Study Update Started.
- If the study reload does not happen one week before the last scheduled session, Avicenna automatically reloads the study on the participant's device and generates more sessions for such TLs.
Assuming your study is already configured to record participants' interactions with each other or with other physical objects using Bluetooth Beacons data source, the Proximity TL allows you to prompt a given Activity when proximity with certain attributes has started or has ended. Please refer to the Bluetooth Beacon page for the definition and details on some of the terminologies used below.
The following image shows the dialog for adding a new Proximity TL to your Activity:
|Adding Proximity Triggering Logics to Your Activity|
The first few fields of this dialog are the same as other Triggering Logics: Criteria, Button Caption, and Icon. Further, in this dialog, you can specify what should be the Team and Role ID of the visiting beacon that is related to this Proximity TL. You can also specify whether the Activity should be prompted when the beacon of interest is visited, or after it's departed given a minimum contact duration. You also can specify how long apart should be two sessions from this Triggering Logics in the Prompt Interval field.
The Received Signal Strength Indicator filter, or RSSI filter, allows you to specify how strong should be the signal of a visiting beacon to be considered for this Proximity TL. As the signal strength is commonly used as an indicator of the distance, you can use this option to specify how far the participant should be from the visiting beacon.
Public TL allows for anonymous survey participation without requiring participants to have an account.
|Public Triggering Logic|
When you add a Public TL to your activity, the system generates a unique link for you that you can share with anyone to complete this activity. When the respondent opens the Public TL link, Avicenna initiates a new session for data collection. Participant responses for the current session are saved directly in the web browser. This means that if participants close or refresh their browser, they can resume the session from the point where they stopped. However, if participants clear their browser's data, such as cookies and cached files, switch to a different web browser, or cancel the activity, clicking the link will result in a new session.
Continuing from the previous discussion on session management, it's important to note the protocol for survey cancellation and submission. Participants have the option to cancel their participation at any point. If they choose to do so, they will be notified that their responses and any progress in the survey have been deleted. Additionally, upon the completion and submission of a survey, participants will receive a confirmation message acknowledging their submission.
Avicenna does not support notifications for anonymous participants.
Content of a Survey with Public TL
When creating a survey with a Public TL, the survey's setup is similar to other surveys with one key difference: Criteria and placeholders cannot reference other surveys' sessions. However, they can reference the current session's questions. If you attempt to use criteria that reference another session, it will be evaluated as false. Similarly, using placeholders that reference other sessions will result in being replaced with an empty string.
Participants of a survey with Public TL will be all listed on the Participation page under one log with Anonymous ID. This means that regardless of the number of participants, there will be only one row with Anonymous ID. You can delete the data for all anonymous participants by clicking on the 3-dots menu at the end of the row and click Delete.
Finally, for data export and analysis, you can export audit logs and survey responses for anonymous participants. Avicenna uses an Anonymous ID for these participants. So researcher can filter the data for anonymous participants by filtering it based on participants' ID. Assuming you are familiar with creating a filter, follow these steps on Activity Responses page:
Participantas the category.
Avicenna IDas the field.
- Lastly, Click on
Anonymousas the value.
You can do the same on the Audit Trial page following these steps:
Audit Trailas the category.
User IDas the field.
- Finally, Click on
Anonymousas the value.
After applying the filter to display anonymous participant data, you can easily download this refined data by clicking the Export as CSV button next to the Filter button.
Manually Triggering an Activity
While you can use Triggering Logics to specify when or how Avicenna should allow the participant to complete an Activity, there might be times that you want to prompt the Activity right away to one or more participants. Avicenna allows you to manually trigger an Activity. In this case, Avicenna will ignore the Activity and TL Criteria (if any) and prompt the Activity to the participant right away.
To trigger an activity manually:
- Go to the
- Click on the
Create New Sessions.
- Select the
- In the release activity dialog, choose the specific activity you wish to manually trigger.
- Select the participants who should receive this activity.
- Finally, click on the
This will prompt the chosen activity to the selected participants.
|Create New Session||Release Activity Dialog|
The above steps result in a notification on the participant's phone to let them know they have an Activity to complete.
When an Activity is prompted to a participant, Avicenna will create a Session for it. This session will hold information about the prompted Activity, responses provided by the participant so far, and other related metadata.
Each session contains a status, which can be one of the following:
- Unanswered/Unknown (ID 0) indicates that a response to this particular session hasn't been registered or uploaded yet. This status doesn't necessarily mean the session hasn't been initiated; it might have been prompted, but the response is yet to be recorded.
- Completed (ID 1) indicates the participant completed the session and submitted it.
- Canceled (ID 2) indicates the participant did not want to complete the session and explicitly canceled it.
- Expired (ID 3) indicates the session was not responded to in time, so Avicenna automatically marks the session as expired.
- Blocked (ID 4) indicates the session was blocked by another active session from the same Activity and could not be prompted (more details below).
- In Progress (ID 6) indicates the session is started by the participant but it's not completed, canceled, or expired yet.
By clicking on a session, you can see the metadata for it which includes Scheduled Time, and Response Time. Scheduled Time specifies the time that the Activity was scheduled to be prompted. For sessions that are prompted via other Triggering Logics types other than Time TL, this is set to the time the Avicenna app starts the session. Response Time specifies the time the Activity session was concluded and queued to be uploaded to the Avicenna server. An Activity session can be concluded with one of the following states:
For Expired, any data collected up to the time of expiration will be uploaded to Avicenna servers. Also, Blocked sessions indicate the Activity was not prompted to the participant, and therefore, there is no response available for it.
To see the sessions for each participant in your study and track their progress, you can use the Activity Sessions page.
Expired Sessions and Expiry Time
Each Activity can have an Expiry Time, which specifies how long after the Scheduled Time Avicenna should wait for the participant to complete the Activity and submit it. If a participant fails to submit their response within the set timeframe, the session will be labeled as Expired.
Each Activity can only have one session running at a time; sessions cannot overlap. If a new session is triggered while another session is already running for the same Activity, the new session will immediately be closed and labeled as 'Blocked'. Let's say you schedule an Activity with a Time Trigger Logic (TL) for 8 am and 9 am. At 8 am, Avicenna prompts the participant, starting a new session and waiting for completion. If by 9 am the participant hasn't responded or canceled the first session, and the Activity's expiry time is 2 hours, the 9 am session can't start because the 8 am session is still active. Avicenna will then mark the 9 am session as 'Blocked'."
Bear in mind that once a session is canceled, expired, blocked, or completed, the corresponding upcoming Session Release Notifications will be not be sent.