ResearchKit App Tracking Medication Use, Quality of Life in Neurogenic Pain Patients for a Northwestern University Study – TrialX Appbakery Releases Zing PainApp
by Priya Menon
TrialX Appbakery has released the Zing PainApp developed for the research team at Northwestern University working on neurogenic pain.
Postoperative pain management is challenging and the Zing PainApp developed for the plastic surgery research team led by Dr. Gregory Dumanian, allows patients undergoing plastic surgery procedures for nerve-related pain to track and monitor their pain symptoms, mood, medication usage, sleep, and mobility. Researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and other academic hospital systems across the country will use this data to study and improve plastic surgery procedures, such as targeted muscle reinnervation, that are used to treat nerve pain. The paper published on the pilot testing of the application with the intended patient population confirmed the usability and interface of the application.
Zing PainApp Features
The mobile app includes weekly surveys, graphs to track responses, a medication log, and optional active tasks allowing users to monitor and self-manage their post-operative health. The app also allows participants to connect to HealthKit and Fitbit to track their steps and sleep.
Surveys – Each participant in the study is expected to answer one weekly survey. The surveys include 12 questions for patients with limb loss and 8 questions for patients without limb loss. The questionnaires include questions on pain, medication, dosage, mood, mobility, sleep and return to work. The medication question auto populates previously entered medications allowing weekly tracking of medicines, dosage and frequency.
Active Tasks – The app includes three ResearchKit active tasks (predefined tasks performed under partially controlled conditions with phone sensors being used to collect the data): Gait and Balance, Fitness, and Timed Walk.
Gait and Balance – this is a semi-controlled task to collect objective measurements that can be used to estimate stride length, smoothness, sway, and other aspects of the participant’s walking.
Fitness – in this task, the participant walks for a specified duration, phone sensor data like pedometer, location, and heart rate is collected where available. Toward the end of the walk, if heart rate data is available, the user is asked to sit down and rest for a period. Data collection continues during the rest period.
Timed Walk – the user is asked to walk quickly and safely for a specific distance. The task is immediately administered again by having the user walk the same distance in the opposite direction. The task measures the user’s lower-extremity function.
Track Steps and Sleep – The Zing PainApp allows participants to connect their HealthKit and Android phone sensors with the app and sync the data to collect step counts and sleep. Participants using Fitbit can connect their wearable device to the app to track data.
Insights and Notifications – All the data coming in from the participants can be viewed under Insights, where survey answers and sensor data is graphically represented in real time. The Insights section also contains references to information on neurogenic pain. Regular notifications will be sent reminding participants to complete their weekly surveys and to complete active tasks.