“Do you have a fever?” Seems like a simple, straightforward question to ask someone. The answer is either “yes” or “no,” and the criteria are clear-cut. Right?
Actually, what constitutes a fever is quite subjective, and the diagnostic science is inexact.
Jared Hawkins, MMSc, PhD, the director of Informatics for Boston Children’s Hospital’s Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA), says that a number of factors — including age, size, and time of day — can influence a person’s “normal” temperature.
In collaboration with the Boston Children’s Autoinflammatory Diseases Clinic, IDHA has designed a free i-Phone application that captures temperature data from the public and applies the crowdsourcing model to science. The app, called “Feverprints,” uses Apple’s ResearchKit to aggregate and analyze the data to answer questions that will advance fever research.
Learn more about this innovation on our sister blog, Vector.
Read Vector’s coverage of Feverprints.
Early Monday morning Boston Children’s Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) flipped the switch to release C Tracker, the group’s first ever app to run on Apple’s ResearchKit system for clinical research. The app lets people living with hepatitis C track their health, medication use and quality of life over the course of months or years.
But it’s about more than health tracking; it’s about lowering barriers and making it easier for patients to participate in population-scale outcomes research on hepatitis C medications and how they respond to those medications in the real world. As CHIP director and C Tracker lead Ken Mandl, MD, MPH, said in a statement:
“Traditional clinical trials are plagued by abysmal accrual rates, slowing progress in discovering cures. We foresee a future where ResearchKit apps like C Tracker lower the barrier to participation and speed medical progress.
By and large, the data we have now about hepatitis C treatments come from traditional clinical trials. With C Tracker, we can listen to the patient voice to learn how people live with hepatitis in the real world.”
C Tracker is available as a free download on the iTunes App Store. You can learn more about the research the app supports at c-tracker.org.