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VCU Massey Cancer Center


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Health Communication and Digital Innovation Shared Resource


The Health Communication and Digital Innovation Shared Resource core offers resources that enable researchers to build, develop and test innovative health communication and digital health solutions to improve clinical trial recruitment, participation and management, population health surveillance and patient/survivorship health management.

The core acts as a gateway for researchers and practitioners who have interests in using social media, sensors or apps to improve recruitment, engagement and retention in population-based studies and clinical trials.


The HCDI lab and office are located in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy on the 4th floor of the One Capitol Square building. The address is 830 E. Main St., Richmond, VA, 23219. We have two internal offices and access to a meeting room.


For researchers interested in our services, please complete this online service request form and a member of the HCDI team will be in touch with you.

  • Services

    The HCDI Shared Resource core offers the following services:

    Gateway services and consultation

    The core provides a gateway for researchers who want to incorporate digital solutions into their work through a detailed consultation process.

    Acquisition of product license and analytical expertise

    Through collaboration with University of Oklahoma, researchers will have access to the INSIGHTTM mHealth Platform, which empowers researchers to build, test and launch technology-based mobile health assessments and intervention tools. The core uses a VCU sandbox for deploying EMAs and JIATI to help team implement pilots or run studies.

    The core can also conduct analyses of data collected from apps, sensors and fitness trackers and develop analytic pipelines for such data.

    Qualtrics and Redcap services

    The HCDI core team holds expertise in rapidly developing Redcap solutions for electronic surveys. The core can assist in designing and implementing Qualtrics surveys. Qualtrics provide panels that can be representative with a variety of segregation variables, providing the possibility for investigators to reach very specific populations. The core can assist with access to such panels.

    Recruitment and retention solutions

    The HCDI implements interventions using social media and text messaging platforms to enhance retention of participants in clinical trials or observational cohorts.

    Core faculty provide consultation of communication between providers and patient.

    Custom builds for new products and apps

    HCDI provides new apps and web-based tools that can be used in a number of different projects, including investigator-initiated projects where readily available solutions are not in place.

    Examples include: 

    • A new tablet app for decision making around lung cancer screening
    • A smoking cessation app for African-American cancer patients
    • An app for providers that has key information about cancer screening

    Expansion of eCohort for catchment area surveillance and maintenance of participant registry

    The core maintains and expands the “Together for Health: Virginia” eCohort that is currently recruiting for our P30 population health assessment in order to

    • allow for a better understanding of the needs of the catchment area; and
    • serve as a repository of cancer patients and Virginia residents for future studies using digital methodologies.

    The team will also work with other units (such as CIC) to provide metrics and analyses for defining the catchment area.

  • Who we are

    The HCDI Shared Resource core is ready to assist you with your health communication and digital health needs.

    If you have any questions about the core or would like additional information, please contact us at:

  • Citation

    All publications that include results, services or products generated by the VCU Massey Cancer Center Shared Resources must include the following acknowledgement in the manuscript:

    "Services in support of the research project were generated by the VCU Massey Cancer Center Health Communication and Digital Innovation Shared Resource core, supported, in part, with funding from NIH-NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA016059."

    PubMed Central (PMC) ID numbers are required for those publications that use CCSG-supported shared resources. All of Massey Cancer Center’s shared resources are supported by the CCSG.


    Suggested grant language

    For suggested grant language, please contact and we will be happy to assist you.

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This Shared Resource is jointly supported by VCU Massey Cancer Center and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.