Data workflow

RAAB7 data is securely managed end-to-end, from collection through to storage and publication where agreed. 

Data collection and temporary storage

RAAB7 survey data is collected on Android mobile devices using the RAAB7 app. The app enforces security protection on the device that includes strong pin protection and Android full-disk encryption. This data is transmitted via a secure encrypted connection to a Peek-managed secure cloud-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) server (located in Germany or India only). AWS Cloud is one of the most secure cloud computing environments available today. RAAB7 data is only stored on the AWS Cloud for the duration of survey data collection. Find out more about RAAB7 data security and protection (pdf).

Personal data

During the survey, limited personal data (participant name) is collected and temporarily stored (for the duration of data collection only) on the AWS Cloud. This is done for the sole purpose of survey support, which includes tracking data collection and “mop up”. Mop-up is a feature to provide the survey team with a list of participants who have either had incomplete assessments or who were not available at the initial visit to the household. There is also an optional feature to collect GPS location data. 

Users can download partial datasets during data collection, and there is the option to anonymise these downloads or keep the identifiers.

Data anonymisation and long-term storage

Once data collection for a RAAB7 survey is complete, the RAAB user ‘closes’ the survey, at which point the dataset is locked and permanently anonymised. The user can then download automated survey reports and a copy of their dataset to store locally.

The anonymised dataset and survey reports are transferred to a secure server managed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). LSHTM’s International Centre for Eye Health stores this permanent anonymised backup of the data for safe-keeping only.

Data sharing

All survey metadata (survey location, year of completion, Principal Investigator, RAAB Trainer, optional modules used, sample size, response rate) is made available on the RAAB repository website. Many Principal Investigators (PIs) also choose to give permission to make further survey outputs (such as the full anonymised dataset and/or survey reports) available on the site after an 18 month embargo period. In doing so, they contribute to future global eye health estimates and provide a wealth of valuable information for secondary analysis to support the sector. RAAB data significantly contribute to the vision loss estimates calculated by the Vision Loss Expert Group for the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) Studies that populate the IAPB Vision Atlas. PIs who provide open access data are invited to join an International RAAB Co-Authorship Group.

Roles and responsibilities

The roles of each party (RAAB partner, Peek Vision and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) in relation to data management and protection are set out in the RAAB Data Sharing Agreement (shared with prospective RAAB partners or available on request to interested parties).