Westat’s software developers and engineers are experts in right-sizing design, implementation, testing, and packaging custom applications for web, mobile, and desktop applications. Our analysts and architects understand the requirements definition process inside and out, and we employ Agile processes alongside DevSecOps to rapidly iterate application development in a collaborative and open way. We leverage both COTS and open-source tools and platforms to maximize value to the client.
Here are some notable examples of custom applications developed and maintained by Westat:
Automated Self-Administered 24-hour (ASA24®) Dietary Assessment Tool
The ASA24 Dietary Assessment Tool is a free web-based tool that enables multiple, automatically coded, self-administered 24-hour diet recalls and/or single or multiday food records, also known as food diaries. Since Westat developed ASA24 for the National Cancer Institute in 2009, 6,000+ studies have registered to use it, and 525,000+ recall or record days have been collected.
The DailyTravel app has been used in multiple household travel surveys across the United States and Canada to collect detailed travel and GPS trace data from 100,000+ persons. Participants can use their own phones, and the collected data are seamlessly integrated into online (web and CATI) travel reporting systems. Participants can start reporting using their phones and complete the household interview from another device. The cross-platform technologies allow Westat to implement both the apps and back-end web services using the same language and support libraries. Since 2016, Westat has updated DailyTravel to keep it compatible with iOS and Android and added features, such as integration with Google Transit, support for multiple languages, and proxy reporting.
Daily travel illustration
Living Environment and Health App
As part of a study to understand and measure how community characteristics and planned improvements affect the health and well-being of residents in neighborhoods managed by the Denver Housing Authority, Westat developed a companion smartphone app. The study asks participants to take saliva samples at specific times in the day, and the app helps participants by showing notification reminders about how and when to take the samples. The app was built using an open-source cross-platform framework making it possible to generate native apps for Android and iOS.
Westat developed a mobile app used by field interviewers, enabling them to work their cases more efficiently and collect higher quality data. The mobile app provides field interviewers quick access to their daily case load, including respondent contact information and case history. Interviewers can securely and efficiently update case status, while still near the doorstep capture immediate information, such as refusal at the time of interaction, and while at the dwelling unit, capture quality observation information, including, if appropriate, pictures. Other features allow for short embedded surveys to be conducted, capture participant’s consent signature, and set follow-on appointments with the participant. mFOS provides interviewers with turn-by-turn driving directions. Supervisors can send interviewers messages using our secure messaging service. The app integrates with Westat study management systems and provides real-time status of interviewer location and activities to reduce falsification.