A physician or nurse making rounds can locate and page through a 200-page reference book that lists the possible adverse events that may occur to patients in a clinical trial, or can instead keep all the same information in their pocket, in a 4-ounce iPhone. For many in healthcare, that's an easy choice.
The classifications of adverse events originated in the National Cancer Institute as a way to help standardize record-keeping of side effects occurring in patients enrolled in clinical trials. Printed out, the Institute's Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) is a 200-page handbook in its most recent edition, version 4.0.
The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia converted all the reference information into a software application, or "app" that anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch can download for free from the App StoreSM on the internet. People with iPhones can already find apps for locating restaurants, planning travel routes or translating phrases into foreign languages. Now health care providers are using apps in the interests of patient care.
From an alphabetized list of symptoms, tap in "ear pain" or "tremor," and the touch screen will display a definition, and then list grades of the problemmild, moderate or severe. Using these categories, a care provider or clinical trial researcher can log data into the trial's records, so it can be shared with other hospitals and physicians having patients participating in the same trial. A user can bookmark adverse events and categories that require more frequent access.
Monitoring the safety of treatments used in clinical trials is crucial to providing the best results for current and future patients. "Researchers can use this app to quickly access information at the point of care, and improve the efficiency of our research," said Peter C. Adamson, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Translational Research at
|Contact: John Ascenzi|
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia