Purpose of review As palliative care research evolves and grows within resource-strained environments, further integration of novel methods to assist in completing protocols is needed. Technology-Assisted techniques, including the use of software and hardware, to aid in data collection, analysis and reporting are increasingly being incorporated into research investigations in palliative care. Reviewing reported successes of technology use in palliative care research is important to communicate lessons learned and principles to guide further implementation. Recent findings There is a growing body of evidence that technology can be effectively integrated into palliative care research. We review four diverse examples of the use of software and hardware technology for data collection from patients and other research participants. Early successes and challenges with technology are also discussed. In addition, seven guiding principles for technology design, implementation and upgrading are appraised to advise readers of the important pitfalls that can plague any well intentioned technology-based research programme. Summary Technology has been successfully integrated into some aspects of palliative care research. The growth of both palliative care research and use of electronic methods for data collection predict increased incorporation between the two fields. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.