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PHT Chooses Android Platform, LG phone for ePRO



By Clinical Informatics News Staff 
 
July 7, 2014 | PHT Corporation is making its electronic patient reported outcome diary, LogPad, available on Android devices, and is specifically provisioning the Nexus consumer phone from Google and LG Electronics. 
 
The Nexus smart phone gives sites and patients the ability to scan medications with its built in scanning technology, a feature that Sheila Rocchio, vice president of marketing and product management, says has been a requested one for years. 
 
“It seems like a small thing, but could clinicians scan the barcode of the medication for drug reconciliation? Could patients scan to make sure it’s the right one, tracking vial by vial what they’re using?” 
 
PHT has tried several scanning technologies in the past, Rocchio said, but has not previously found an integrated device that was accurate and easy to use. Separate scanners were cumbersome, and many had problems scanning a curved surface, like a medication vial. The scanner in the Nexus phone is, “super easy” to use, Rocchio says, “like scanning a QR code.” 
 
The LogPad app on the Nexus smart phone is the only electronic clinical outcomes assessment (eCOA) tool available on a consumer device, PHT believes. And Rocchio says it is invaluable to have a device consumers are already familiar and comfortable with. “Customers are used to using it,” she says. “They scan barcodes at Target to get price matches.” 
 
PHT chose the Android platform because worldwide it boasts more users than Apple’s iOS platform. PHT is preparing for a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world, Rocchio says, and wanted as many customers as possible to participate. PHT chose the Nexus device because it has more flexibility in price than Apple phones, a larger screen, and more flexibility in terms of accessories like cables. The Android platform also provides a better user experience with fast response times and numerous connectivity options, the company said. 
 
Rocchio says the company, “will support the iOS platform eventually, but we won’t provision an iOS device. It’s a lot more expensive.” 
 
Having integrated scanning within an ePRO is a huge boon to both sites and patients, Rocchio says. Sites can use the tool to track medication supply, especially of expensive study drugs like biologics. Patients can use the device to scan their medications before taking them, helping the site keep up with patient supply and compliance. If there is ever a mix-up in drug or dosage, scanning a vial before the patient takes the drug could immediately alert the patient to a problem, and—if connected wirelessly—contact the site as well. 
 
Sponsors can leverage the embedded Android barcode scanning technology to help streamline trial processes and improve patient safety monitoring and tracking of drug supplies. Patient enrollment and provisioning can also be automated by a simple scan of the specific trial QR code via the smart phone’s scanner.
 
The ability to scan the bar code on injection-based therapies is especially useful for tracking and managing the drug supply and patient adherence to the medication schedule of expensive biologics. Sponsors studying hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and other indications have expressed strong interest in this capability.
 
PHT is testing the scanning as part of study protocols and the scanning step is being integrated into other LogPad questions that patients are asked as part of their online diary. 
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