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Innovation

FDA developing app to monitor side effects of emergency drugs

The FDA is working on an app that will help track the side effects of experimental drugs that are used during crises or disease outbreaks.
Written by Jenny Wilson, Contributing Editor on
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Image via Flickr/Sarah Macmillan

According to agency officials, the FDA is working on an app that will help track and respond to the side effects of experimental drugs that are used during crises or disease outbreaks. This project comes in response to the swine flu outbreak of 2009, during which reactions to a new drug could not be properly monitored by existing systems. Such an app would lead to immediate reporting of adverse side effects, allowing officials to respond and issue instructions accordingly.

The FDA is still looking for a contractor for the Real-Time Application for Portable Interactive Devices (RAPID). The software will collect and display videos and images of reactions to the drug, X-rays, and medical histories. It will also use GPS data to reveal geographical trends.

The app, which will first be tested on smartphones and subsequently on tablet computers, will ideally be developed in the next year. FDA officials hope it will soon replace their current press-release method of communication which they say is, "time-consuming, costly, burdensome and late to implement in crisis situations."

[via NextGov]

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