The Boston Children’s Hospital has released C Tracker, a medical app developed using Apple’s ResearchKit platform, which enables patients living with chronic hepatitis C to participate in clinical research.
The researchers are primarily looking at how hepatitis C affects a patient’s life by capturing the patient’s daily experiences, monitor symptoms and assess the efficacy of treatments.
The hospital says while highly effective medication has been available for years, there’s limited data on how patients are responding to these drugs in everyday life.
Patients can use C Tracker to track their health, medication use and quality of life over the course of months or years. The app uses short surveys to collect a patient’s daily activities and other relevant health data such as: Which antiviral medication are you currently taking or have you taken in the past? During the past seven days, how many hours did you miss from work because of problems associated with your hepatitis C?
C Tracker sends out occasional reminders to participants to encourage completion of their in-app surveys and sends out a reminder every four months to urge patients to fill out an overall survey.
The study uses a platform called Consent, Contact and Community framework for Patient-Reported Outcomes (C3-PRO), to connect the hospital to patient data via ResearchKit.
C Tracker doesn’t collect personal information that would identify the individuals by name or birth date. Individuals are kept anonymous for purposes of the study, with a user number substituting for personal identifying information such as the person’s name.
“ResearchKit makes it simple to create easy to use research apps that allow us to take research out of the clinic to where patients are,” said Lead Software Developer of C Tracker, Dr Pascal Pfiffner.
“C3-PRO seamlessly integrates data collected from ResearchKit apps with data from the care delivery system,” concluded Dr Pfiffner.