Hospitals, Patient Engagement

Boston Children’s enlists ResearchKit for hep C study

This study, called C Tracker, will give researchers insight into patients’ daily activity, monitor symptoms and assess the efficacy of treatments.

The Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is running a study on hepatitis C, relying exclusively on Apple’s ResearchKit and a custom-designed iPhone app. This study, called C Tracker, will give researchers insight into patients’ daily activity, monitor symptoms and assess the efficacy of treatments.

“By and large, the data we have now about hepatitis C treatments come from traditional clinical trials,” Dr. Ken Mandl, director of CHIP and principal investigator of C Tracker, said in a press statement. “With C Tracker, we can listen to the patient voice to learn how people live with hepatitis in the real world.”

The study includes a free iOS app, also called C Tracker, and a platform called C3-PRO, which stands for Consent, Contact and Community framework for Patient-Reported Outcomes, to connect the hospital to patient data via ResearchKit. C3-PRO is compatible with any ResearchKit app, not just C-Tracker, according to the hospital.

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Mandl said that the app will turn “research participation into a patient-driven, democratic endeavor,” largely due to its ResearchKit compatibility.

“Traditional clinical trials are plagued by abysmal accrual rates, slowing progress in discovering cures,” Mandl said. “We foresee a future where ResearchKit apps like C Tracker lower the barrier to participation and speed medical progress.”

Though the program is from a pediatric hospital, participants must be at least 18 years old.

For more, watch this video from Boston Children’s.

Photo: Flickr user Health Gauge