Adverse drug event? There's an app for that

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The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has developed a new application for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch to help doctors and nurses record and grade adverse events in clinical trials.

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 is a 200-page handbook in its most recent edition, version 4.0, CBMi stated.

The organization converted all the reference information into a software application that anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch can download for free from the App Store.

From an alphabetized list of symptoms, a user can tap in "ear pain" or "tremor" and the touch screen will display a definition, and then list grades of the problem—mild, moderate or severe, CBMi said. 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 also bookmark adverse events and categories that require more frequent access, CBMi added.