Case Study

How HRI uses Voxco to conduct complex research studies & speed up insight generation

Homewood Research

Homewood Research Institute is an independent charitable organization dedicated to evaluate and transform mental health and addiction services in Canada (and beyond). HRI partners with top treatment providers, universities, and research institutes, bringing experts from diverse backgrounds to the same table to address Canada’s mental health and addiction crisis. 

This case study has been prepared with generous feedback from Sarah Sousa, Senior Research Associate at HRI. We are greatly indebted to Sarah for helping us with this!

HRI’s four priority areas of research and evaluation:

– Addiction Research

– Trauma Research

– Digital Innovations

– Evaluation


The HRI team was using an electronic survey solution to conduct data collection for their research studies. As their survey solution provider was about to get acquired, the team started looking for an alternative survey company with Canadian servers.

While searching for options, the team selected Voxco because it met the Canadian server criteria and was flexible functionality-wise. 


"We needed something to grow with us because we don’t know what’s gonna come next. And our worry is always to buy something and then we realize the solution couldn’t do something we want to".
Sarah Sousa
Senior Research Associate, HRI

Though a number of Voxco benefits (such as custom scripting/services) didn’t factor in the switching decision, those came as a bonus surprise to HRI later.


"Voxco made our job easier with the right amount of sophistication and flexibility.
Sarah Sousa
Senior Research Associate
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Omnichannel Platform with Integrated Database

In the Recovery Journey Project, Voxco Online allowed the HRI team to connect with patients while in a treatment program for substance use (via surveys on tablets) and via email surveys at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after they left treatment. This allowed the team to conduct longer and more complex surveys than before. The email survey responses were automatically uploaded to an integrated database, which allowed for easy data monitoring. The Voxco platform gave HRI an easy overview of the participants’ engagement and responses for multiple research studies.

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Here's what Sarah had to say about the Support Team

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On-Premise Servers

With on-premise servers, sensitive data is secure.

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Flexible Solution

Voxco’s flexible platform allowed the team to conduct research studies of varying complexity. The team was able to handle any combination of variables by simply writing their own rules for calculations. They could conduct complex calculations having hundreds of variables which sped up the insight generation process.  

"When conducting research projects, we are often asking questions using many different methods. Sometimes we use questions we’ve generated ourselves and other times we are using already established assessment tools. Some of these tools have complex calculations to arrive at a final score. Traditionally, we’ve had to do those calculations after we collected the data, but with Voxco we can actually write in the logic to calculate the scores within the platform. This has saved us a lot of time and has given us more confidence in the results. With Voxco we could write any, any combination, it didn't matter how complex. That’s not the case with other survey platforms that only allow you to collect the data. Voxco won us over by the ability to be flexible too, no matter what research tool or clinical tool we had, it was going to fit in there."
Sarah Sousa
Senior Research Associate
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Customizable Solution

Even with Voxco Online, for the Recovery Journey Project, the team had to spend a lot of time sending individual emails to people after they left treatment. This meant dedicated staff for keeping track  of email surveys that must be sent out to participants almost daily. This reduced the efficiency of the project.  

Working with the Voxco technical team, they developed an API for HRI to automate the email sending & responses collection process. With the API, once a research participant is entered in the database, the entire responses collection process for a year is automated.     

"I don’t think I realized when we brought on how much support there was around. Like, there’s always a sense of, we will find the solution. Or find a better way of doing it for you. If we don’t want to do a project ourself, we could, we could hire support to help us actually just build that for, for us. So that was really helpful for us.
Sarah Sousa
Senior Research Associate


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Better insights, Better publications

The turnaround time of research data decreased substantially. With the ability to generate insights faster, the team developed a deeper understanding of the recovery process. The team compiled their research into in-depth info sheets, research publications and presentations.

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Increased Efficiency

The staff requirement for contacting & updating the database reduced substantially. With automated survey responses collection, the team could reach a wider audience which improved their research quality. With Voxco, the efficiency of data collection & analysis improved by multi-fold. 

Sarah Sousa, Senior Research Associate