493. A Mobile Phone App to Enhance Communication between ID Physicians and Members of the Public Health Community
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Public Health
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C
Background: The IDSA EIN is a CDC-sponsored sentinel network of almost 1,600 infectious disease (ID) physician clinicians in North America with a primary goal of assisting CDC and other public health authorities with surveillance for emerging infectious diseases and related phenomena. The IDSA EIN maintains an active listserv and distributes regularly scheduled queries (short surveys on various infectious disease topics). The IDSA EIN now has a mobile phone app designed to facilitate rapid communication between ID clinicians and the public health community.

Methods: An IDSA EIN app for iOS was created using Objective-C and Cocoa Touch framework. The app's server is written in Python using the Django-Tastypie API framework to communicate app data via JSON. The app has two components. The Question Component presents moderated questions in 2 forms to logged-in IDSA EIN members. “Have you seen it” questions ask about unusual or epidemiologically relevant infections, allowing for rapid detection of similar cases in other locations. “Have you treated it” questions ask about treatments and outcomes for unusual infections. The Articles Component of the app allows users to view RSS feeds from multiple ID relevant journals which can be read immediately or saved in a personal reading list as an incentive for members to open the app.

Results: The app augments existing IDSA EIN sentinel network activities. The listserv has clinician and public health community members, with >200 separate threads and ~1,000 total responses/year. However, the listserv and query functions have limitations. Each listserv thread contains responses from only a small number of members, resulting in less representative responses. Queries have a good response rate but take up to a month to complete. The app has the potential to provide real-time feedback from a more representative sample of clinicians with better signal detection abilities than either the listserv or query functions.

Conclusion: The IDSA EIN app provides a new tool to enhance communication between ID physicians and public health authorities using a fast, secure method of performing quick polls. The application has been submitted to iTunes App Store and a link will be available at http://compepi.cs.uiowa.edu/einapp/ in June 2013.

Dolan Murphy, BS1, Matthew Adamczyk1, James F. Cremer, PhD1, Susan E. Beekmann, RN, MPH2,3 and Philip M. Polgreen, MD2,3, (1)Department of Computer Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, (2)Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, (3)Emerging Infections Network, Iowa City, IA


D. Murphy, None

M. Adamczyk, None

J. F. Cremer, None

S. E. Beekmann, None

P. M. Polgreen, None

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