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Cerner, Duke Develop mHealth App for Clinical Decision Support

Cerner joined forces with the Duke Clinical Research Institute to develop an mHealth app that draws from the EHR to gauge a patient's chances of developing heart disease within the next decade and over a lifetime.

Source: ThinkStock

By Eric Wicklund

- Cerner and the Duke Clinical Research Institute have developed an mHealth app that enables clinicians to gauge whether their patients are at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

The ASCVD Risk Calculator app, available in the SMART App Gallery and Cerner’s Open Developer Experience app gallery, pulls in patient data from the EHR to determine the chances that a patient will develop atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The digital health tool estimates 10-year and lifetime chances of developing the disease.

“Guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association now emphasize using the 10-year calculator to identify adults for statin therapy,” Dr. Pierre Elias, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University and former medical student at Duke University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “We wanted an app that would make it easier for clinicians to calculate risk at the point of care. Whether it’s the primary care clinic or a cardiologist’s office, I can’t tell you the number of times this can get missed when there are so many other problems to manage. Making it faster and easier to get news you can use leads to better patient care.”

The clinical decision support platform calculates the odds based on data including the patient’s age, race, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking status and diabetes status. The mHealth app also factors in the patient’s “willingness to take action to improve their health and the risks and benefits of potential therapies.”

“We developed the app to be able to pull important patient health data across multiple EHR suppliers at different venues of care in order to get a full picture of how to improve that patient’s health,” Dr. Ann Marie Navar, assistant professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Duke University School of Medicine and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute who led the collaboration, added. “Cerner’s open platform encourages collaboration, which will help advance the way care is delivered regardless of the specific platform people are using.”

The app was developed on Cerner’s Open Developer Experience Platform, which encourages third-party developers to create mobile health tools using the Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies (SMART) project on HL7’s Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR) platform.

“This collaboration demonstrates how the healthcare industry can come together to develop and continually improve an app that has the ability to save lives by the power of SMART on FHIR open source standards,” Kevin Shekleton, vice president and distinguished engineer at Cerner, said in the release. “We developed this Risk Calculator for our client hospitals and health systems, but open source lets any healthcare organization leverage the technology to help people live healthier lives.”

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