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REDCap: MyCap User Guide

Content Menu - MyCap

MyCap Overview

MyCap Setup

Creating Tasks
and Surveys

Participant Use

Using MyCap

IRB Submissions

User Permissions

What is MyCap?

MyCap is a mobile app that participants can download to complete research data collection and the automated administration of Active Tasks (activities performed by participants using mobile device sensors under semi-controlled conditions) from any mobile device. All data collected in the MyCap App are automatically sent back to the REDCap server as soon as internet connection is available (i.e., it can also be used for offline participant data collection).  This app makes it simple and inexpensive (no-cost) for researchers to use a mobile app to capture participant reported outcomes on both iOS and Android devices. MyCap provides a quick two-way messaging system between REDCap and the participant's MyCap app (e.g., messaging and announcements).

MyCap can be enabled on a REDCap project by a REDCap Administrator when a project requests this feature. 

There are two different versions of MyCap on the app stores:  MyCap and MyCap Classic.  This page focuses on the features of MyCap.  

Device Requirements

MyCap is available on any iOS device (iOS v11.0+) and any Android device (Android v8.0+)

MyCap Core Features

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Supports REDCap surveys
  • Captures active tasks (e.g., audio recording, tone audiometry, tapping speed)
  • Offers flexibility in scheduling including one-time and recurring tasks
  • Allows for data collection multiple times per day
  • Automates push notifications when tasks/surveys are scheduled to be completed
  • Supports bi-directional, secure messaging between study teams and participants
  • Supports the sending of announcements to all participants
  • Allows for the creation of information screens (e.g., project overview, study contacts, get support)
  • Supports custom themes for the project, including customized images and colors
  • Captures links to websites and web-based resources
  • Supports multiple projects/studies for a single participant
  • Supports multiple profiles on single device
  • Offers 6-digit passcode security, which can be disabled if desired
  • Supports offline data collection, which is automatically synced with study database when internet connectivity is re-established
  • Supports longitudinal projects with event timing for scheduling app tasks

MyCap Workflow Overview

Below is a high level overview of the steps in a MyCap Project Life Cycle.

  1. Create your new REDCap project.
  2. Request a REDCap administrator to enable MyCap for your REDCap project. (Make sure to include MyCap usage in your IRB submission.)
  3. Continue designing your REDCap project (adding forms, surveys, Active Tasks, etc.).
  4. Design the MyCap interface.
    1. Schedule when and how often tasks/survey should appear.
    2. Create information screens.
    3. Create a custom theme.
  5. Test MyCap with colleagues.
  6. Move project to Production, just as you would with a regular REDCap project.
  7. Give unique QR code to participant. This QR code will bring them to the appropriate project.
  8. Participant downloads MyCap app and joins the project by scanning the QR code.
  9. The device pulls from the server the REDCap project configuration into the participant’s device.
  10. Participant receives push notifications set up within project.
  11. Participant enters data via the app.
  12. Once study ends, participant can uninstall the app or delete the project from the app (if they are participating in multiple MyCap studies)

Each participant has to use only one device when reporting through MyCap. Say a participant has a cell phone and a tablet. Whichever device they use sends task results to the server. The server does not send task results to the device. The participant's tablet will have no knowledge of a task that was completed on the phone. If a participant were to get a different device, however the user could have the task results sent from the server to the participant’s new device. 


MyCap uses an internal messaging system. There are no data charges. When using this feature, the participant will see the message ‘You have a secure message waiting’ displayed. When the participant clicks on that push notification, MyCap shows the message sent from the REDCap database.

Please note that if the participant messages the study team, the study team will not receive a notification about a waiting message outside of REDCap.  Any messages received will be available in REDCap's MyCap Participant Management message dashboard and indicated with a small visual icon. Ensure that your team informs participants the MyCap messaging is NOT to be used for 'urgent' contact.

MyCap vs MyCap Classic

In the app store for iOS and Android devices there are two different versions of the MyCap application, MyCap and MyCap Classic.  MyCap Classic is an older version of MyCap that is available but will no longer be receiving updates or new features and will be removed from the app store in August 2024. It is highly recommended to use the new MyCap app (purple background) for all future projects.

When participants download the app, the research team should make sure that their participants are downloading the correct version to their devices. 

App Store Options
App Store Options

Limitations of MyCap

The following REDCap features are not supported in MyCap:  piping, smart variables, field embedding, special functions, calculated fields, and most action tags (@HIDDEN and all @MC- prefixed action tags *are* supported). 

Branching logic is partially supported for single-statement branching logic, such as [field]='1', is supported. (i.e., does not contain AND, OR, or special functions)

For an updated full list of help resources, features, and limitations of MyCap please visit this site:

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MyCap Setup

REDCap administrators can enable MyCap for a project upon request. 

Enable MyCap in Project Setup
Enable MyCap Option in Main Project Settings

Once enabled, MyCap can be configured and customized to match project needs.  You will see a new option specific for MyCap under Project Setup and in the Designer.

Configure MyCap
Design and Configure MyCap

In the MyCap Design and Configuration window there are four different areas that will allow you to customize the appearance and navigation content of the app based on your project.  Adding app specific tasks or surveys will be added from the Designer as instruments in the project. 

Customizing About Page

The "About" pages are the first thing that participants will see after they add the project to their device.  One "Home" page is required, but several different pages of content can be added.  With each page you can customize the Icon or Logo that users will see at the top of the application. 

Customizing About Page
About Page Customization

After customizing, you can select the "Preview" button to see an example of how your app will display on a phone.  It may also be useful to download the app to your device so you can see changes as they would appear to participants. 

About Page Preview
About Page Preview

Customizing Contacts Page

A "Contacts" page can be added to list any contacts that may be important for participants.  These can be contacts for participant questions or provide contacts for other resources as needed.  The contact information provided MUST be your valid university email address and/or phone number.  All IRB and UW policies must be followed.

Customize Contacts Page
Contacts Page Customization

After customizing, you can select the "Preview" button to see an example of how your app will display on a phone.  It may also be useful to download the app to your device so you can see changes as they would appear to participants. 

Contacts Page Preview
Contacts Page Preview

Customizing Links Page

The "Links" page can contain links to other websites or helpful documents that participants may find useful to open on their devices.  Multiple links can be added as needed. 

Customize Links Page
Links Page Customization

Customizing the Theme and Look of the App

The "Theme" tab allows you to select a color scheme or create your own to customize how the app will appear.  If your study is associated with particular colors or branding this can help create uniformity between content that a participant would see. 

Customizing Theme
Theme Page Customization

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Creating Tasks and Surveys

Once MyCap is enabled there will be new options specific to the app in the Online Designer. 

Available Options:

  • "MyCap Options" can bring you back to App Design, provide details on tasks, or allow you to enter a field as a "Baseline Date" for task scheduling purposes. 
  • Under Data Collection Instruments you can search for Active Tasks from the available library.  The tasks will be added to the list of Instruments with a note that they are an "(Active task)".
  • "Enabled as MyCap task" option to enable instruments, tasks, and surveys as a MyCap task.  This is similar to how you would typically enable a survey regularly. 
  • "MyCap related options":  allows customizing of task settings and frequency, much like survey settings. 
Designer MyCap Options
New MyCap Specific Online Designer Options

Once you select "MyCap settings" for a given instrument there are several options to customize how the task will be handled by the app.  This includes some visual customization like Task Title and Descriptions as well as setting the schedule for when the task should be completed by the participant. 

Some of the Tasks have Task specific customization that will apply to only that task.  In the example of the Two Finger Tapping Task there are additional custom fields for the duration of the tapping test and which hands should be tested.

You can find a list of available tasks with descriptions here.

Task Settings Customization
Example Task Settings in the Online Designer

Scheduling Tasks and Surveys

Tasks may be scheduled for specific times or dates based on project a designated project Baseline date or participant app install dates.  

Scheduling MyCap Tasks
Scheduling a Task for the MyCap App

If the project is Longitudinal, then tasks may be scheduled based on Event Days Offset.

Scheduling for Longitudinal Projects
Scheduling a Task based on Event in Longitudinal Project

Applying Changes

Once you make changes to Tasks or Designs there will be a note in the top right corner of the screen informing that the current changes need to be updated to the devices using the app for this project.  You will need to select "Publish new MyCap version" each time you would like new changes to be applied to the app. 

MyCap Publish New Version Button
Publish new MyCap version Warning

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Distributing Project to Participant

Projects can be distributed to participants by link or by QR Code linked to their specific Record.  Distribution options are found under "MyCap Participant Management" in the left-side menu under "Data Collection". 

MyCap Participant Management
Navigating to MyCap Participant Management

Under MyCap Participant List there are options to individually invite participants or invite in bulk using the "Invite Participants" button.  Each participant can use a field to assign a "Custom Participant Label" to help sort the records.  This will also show the dates each person Installed the project on a device and their Baseline Date if a date field has been assigned the Baseline Date in the Online Designer. 

MyCap Participant List
MyCap Participant List

Once you have selected to invite a participant you will have the option to invite based on a QR Code they will scan using the app on their device or a link that they can open on their device once the app is installed. 

Participant Invite Options
MyCap Invitation Format Options

QR Code Generation and Distribution

There are several different ways you can distribute a QR code to a participant. Here are some options:

  1. Take a screenshot of the QR code and email to a participant
  2. A coordinator may help direct the participant to download the MyCap and scan the QR code in person if the participant is visiting a clinic
  3. Print the QR code onto paper and mail to a participant
  4. Pipe the QR Code into the Survey Completion Text of a public survey. 
  5. Use REDCap’s Alerts & Notifications feature to automatically email a QR code to a participant. Use REDCap’s piping mechanism to pipe the participants QR code value into the content of the email.  This method can work similarly to scheduling Automated Survey Invites. 
REDCap QR Code
MyCap QR Code and Link Examples

This QR Code is unique to a record and should only be shared with the specific participant it is for. 

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Using the MyCap App


Setting Up App on a New Device

There are two different MyCap apps available in App Stores.  It is important to make sure your participants are downloading the correct version - "MyCap" (purple background) - for your project to their device. 

MyCap App Store
MyCap App Store Options

Once the app has been downloaded and opened the app will run through some permissions it will need to work properly.  For example, it will ask to allow Notifications on the device.  This will be used to let participants know when Tasks are due to be completed.  The app may also ask permission to use camera and audio if tasks will require these features. 

MyCap Allow Notifications
App Permissions Requests

If notifications have been enabled on the app, then the device will receive a Push Notification at scheduled times when tasks are due to be completed. 

MyCap App Push Notification
Push Notification Example

After the initial download and setup then participants will be able to create their profiles and setup projects. 

Setting Up Profiles and Projects

If this is the first time the App is being used there will be no Profiles.  To begin, select the "Create Profile" button to set up a Profile that will be able to join a project.  Multiple profiles can be created with the MyCap app as needed (E.g. a household using the same device).  The profiles can be customized with unique names and photos. 

Profiles also require a 6 digit pass-code to access the profile in the future. 

MyCap Profile
Profile Selection Screen.

After selecting a Profile and entering the pass-code a user can open a previously joined project or join a new project.  

MyCap Profile with Project

If you join a project from within the app it will prompt for a QR code to scan.  This is the code that is generated from REDCap and distributed by email, paper, or individualized invites.  The QR codes are unique to each individual and should not be shared with others. 

MyCap Scan QR Code Prompt
Prompt to scan QR code

After scanning the QR Code the app will be linked to the project and the profile will be able to access the project again in the future.  You can change devices and rejoin under the same record id if needed. 

Task Lists and History

MyCap App participants that have a project set up will see a calendar of activities outline which are currently due, overdue, or upcoming.  Some tasks can be set to be completed even if they are overdue or can lock them from completion if out of window. 

To complete a task, a participant can click on the task in the list which will open up the activity for their completion. 

App Task List
MyCap Task Lists

Once a user has completed a task the History tab will show them a full list of the tasks they have completed over time.   

MyCap History
MyCap Completed Task Lists

For some tasks, there is a chart tab option to show progress or performance of a task over time.

Completing Tasks

Tasks will display instructions or the survey description when clicked on before a user starts the activity.  For surveys, questions are typically displayed one question at a time as responses are entered. 

When the task is finished the participant will be prompted to submit their survey responses or task results.  This will send their results back to REDCap to be stored with their record in the database.

MyCap Survey Complete
MyCap Results Send Confirmation

Some tasks can be repeatable and retaken.  Others will only accept one response.  This may also depend on the initial settings saved for the task in the Online Designer.

Removing Participants from a Project

Participant removal from a study

If a participant is only participating in a single project and they want to leave the project, then they can simply uninstall the MyCap app.

Removing oneself from the MyCap app or deleting the MyCap app entirely only deletes data on the participants device. No previously transmitted data will be deleted from the REDCap project.

Participant removal from a specific MyCap project

A user can delete a project from their profile by navigating to the list of projects under their profile, then pressing and holding on the project they want to remove.  This will create a Delete Study pop up that will ask a user to confirm that they wish to remove this project from their profile. 

Delete Project from Profile
Press and Hold Delete Project option within MyCap

This will delete the MyCap project from the MyCap app. This is typically only useful if a participant is participating in multiple MyCap projects and one of them has ended.

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Referencing MyCap in IRB Submissions

Language recommendations when using MyCap for IRB applications and consent forms is listed below.  The provided language is meant to be used as a template, but may need to be adjusted to fit your specific project details. 

Recommended IRB Application / Protocol Language

This study will be using a mobile application called MyCap that will need to be downloaded to a participant’s personal mobile device (iOS or Android).  We will use this app to send push notifications and reminders to complete tasks related to participation in this study.  UPDATE BASED ON YOUR STUDY'S USAGE: The tasks will include survey questionnaires, and the following Active Tasks [insert names of specific active tasks that will be used]. Data entered into this device will be automatically synchronized to the study team’s SMPH REDCap project. 

Recommended Consent Form Language

This study will be using a mobile application called MyCap for this project.  This app will need to be downloaded to your personal mobile device (iOS or Android).  The study team will use this app to send you push notifications and reminders to complete tasks related to participation in this study. 

Ensure that your team informs participants the MyCap messaging is NOT to be used for 'urgent' contact. This should also be listed in a study information sheet provided to participant.

Active Task Language

If you are planning on using any of the built in Active Tasks, reference this page to find the appropriate task with provided explanations of the app to reference for your application or protocol submission:

You do not need to provide documentation for built-in active tasks as long as the title and provided explanation is listed in protocol.

Custom instruments/surveys will still need to have a PDF of the custom survey provided to IRB for review.

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REDCap User Permissions

REDCap administrators must enable MyCap for a project.  Once enabled, individual users will need to have "Manage MyCap Participants" Privileges in order to create invites and see the active list of app participants within the project. 

MyCap User Rights
MyCap User Rights

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KeywordsMyCap, REDCap, phone, app, participant, mobile   Doc ID130328
OwnerAmanda Y.GroupSMPH Research Informatics
Created2023-08-14 14:31:06Updated2024-03-20 09:59:05
SitesSMPH Research Informatics , SMPH Research Informatics TEST
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