The British Lupus Integrated Prospective System, or BLIPS as it is more commonly known, was the first Windows based databased system for monitoring lupus patients, and was instrumental in the adoption of the BILAG Index worldwide. Developed by ADS-Limathon and validated by the BILAG group, it was launched in 1996 as a destop product. Later it became a client-network server programme, and in 2006 it became internet enabled, and became known as i-BLIPS.
BLIPS has now reached version 8.0, and we are proud to boast that the original clinics now have over 30 years of lupus patient data stored in BLIPS.
Why do I need BLIPS?
Lupus is a complex disease, manifesating as Activity, creating Damage, and affecting Quality of Life. The BILAG group were quick to realise that activity was the key, but damage and QoL were also important. Using BLIPS, you can monitor all three elements. BILAG also recognised that the SLEDAI index, although simple to use, was less sensitive to change. The BILAG index is more sensitive and has become the gold standard in measuring lupus disease activity.
However, the BILAG index has many complexscoring nuances complex to score manually and reproducibly, and has many nuanceswhich is why BLIPS was developed.
i-BLIPS is provided as Software as a Service (SaaS). This means that the software, database and hardware are all maintained centrally by ADS-Limathon. This has many benefits. Firstly there is nothing to install. We configure your database and applications, you just need an account and a log-on. Other than providing a browser, and internet connection, there is no involvement with your IT department. You just log on, enter patients, enter assessments, and the system does the rest. Naturally, we keep the the system, the database and the software updated and current. Lastly since everybody is using the our BLIPS system, there is consistency, globally.
Who Uses BLIPS ?
There are four types of users of BLIPS
1. Individual lupus clinics
2. National and International Lupus Assessment Groups
3. Academic Studies
4. Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials
The unique design of BLIPS allows each of these different users groups to use the same application, wherever they are, regardless of whether they are an individual clinic in Africa, or part of a 400 site, global study, based in New York. Paris or Moscow. This common user interface approach leads to greater consistency in user experience and understanding and in turn a higher quality of data accross the globe.
How Can I Get Started ?
If you are at a Lupus Clinic and want to use the software for patient monitoring, we provide low cost academic licences for this purpose. We also have a free offer until at least June 2019. Just contact us and we can add you into BLIPS Global one of our Lupus Registry databases, usually in 24 hours.
National Registries and Groups can also be added to existing databases quickly and free offers, exst for these also.
Academic Studies and Clinical Trials usually require bespoke database and application configurations for large numbers of sites. They may also require new or dedicated hardware environments which must also be procured and set up. These should be plannned well in advance. Additionally we bring 20 years experience of lupus clinical trials and a helpdesk support to the study, As you would expect for this service, we do have to charge. Please engage with us early to gain maximum benefit and to budget for the costs.
What do I need?
As a BLIPS user, whether you are an Physician or Nurse monitoring patients; or an Investigator, Data Entry person, CRA, Study Manager or Data Manager in a Clinical Trial; all you need in order to use BLIPS is a web browser and internet connection, and of course a valid BLIPS account.
You are not limited to a specific version of Windows anymore, i-BLIPS will run on any Windows with a current version of IE, Firefox or Google Chrome. Additionally, Apple Mac or ei-PAD users can access BLIPS usng Safari.
You simply need to know your User Name, Password and BLIPS Environment name and you have access instantly from your home, office, meeting room or train. Anywhere with an internet connection in fact.
BLIPS now uses SSL encryption, so it is safe to use at any wifi location.
Where is my data stored?
BLIPS database and applications are hosted by an enterprise class data warehouse company, named UKfast, based in Manchester, UK. BLIPS does not store any patient identifiable data. Additionally, BLIPS does not used cloud based architecture, instead opting for secure physical servers, and firewalls which are dedicated purely to ADS-Limathon customers. Within our servers we can run multiple virtual machines, most of which are dedicated to BLIPS. Each VM can have a dedicated customer (eg Clinical Trial or User Group) or they can have multiple Environments shared by small studies, and individual clinics. Log-ons are specific to these environments, and to a specific site and study.
Finally we have replication of data between two physical servers, plus daily onsite backup, and daily offsite backup.
What about training?
BLIPS Certify is now available to all users at individual sites, national user groups and clincal trials and studies.
BLIPS Certify contains slideshow training courses designed by BILAG and ADS-Limathon.
There are numerous benefits to this approach. Firstly it means that every user worldwide is standardised, that is trained to a coomon standard. This is a key step towards global data consistency, which is very important in clinical research. It is of critical importance in clinical trials
In order to achieve standardisation we provide training courses in BILAG, SLEDAI, and the BLIPS Software. We ensure standardisation by requiring all users to take online exams based on the training, before they can perform patient assessments or enter data into the system. Additional training modules can be added for other indices, or for study specific training requirements.
Audit trail records of training, and certificates of completion are automatically produced.