Mobile application that aids nephrotic syndrome patients with home urine protein testing to track disease relapse and remission, management of task reminders, and patient education.
- Accurate and fast camera-read of urine test strips reduces care burden and minimize errors.
- Early identification of disease relapses and remissions provides timely alerts and action plans.
- Provides clear documentation of urine protein results and intuitive results display.
- Educational materials prepared by nephrotic syndrome experts.
Nephrotic syndrome is one of the most common chronic kidney diseases in childhood. Most patients experience many disease relapses with high risks for complications such as life-threatening infections, blood clots, and acute kidney injury. Each nephrotic syndrome relapse starts with protein loss through the urine (proteinuria) before symptoms develop. The current standard-of-care requires families to perform regular home monitoring of urine for protein using urine test strips. The results must be accurately interpreted and recorded by the patient or their caregiver. New disease relapses and disease remission (resolution of protein in the urine) must be communicated to the providers in a timely manner so that treatments may be initiated or weaned/stopped to minimize treatment side effects, respectively. The medication regimens are complex and may change frequently. These management tasks are difficult for families and nonadherence is common. Currently, there are no evidence-based tools to support patients and their caregivers in the management of nephrotic syndrome.
Emory and Georgia Tech inventors have developed UrApp to reduce management burden and improve patient care in nephrotic syndrome. The application uses the mobile phone camera to read urine test strips and analyze the results to detect disease relapse and remission. The camera-read feature has been tested against commercial urinalysis machine and found to have excellent analytic validity. UrApp has additional features which were iteratively developed by a panel of clinicians, patients, caregivers, and engineers to support disease management and meet the needs of users. The features include: pop-up alerts for new disease relapse and remission with action plans, graphic and calendar displays of urine protein results, data transmission to providers via e-mail, medication reminders, urine testing reminders, and educational materials. The user-informed, expert-developed tool has great potential to improve the outcomes and wellbeing of patients and their caregivers. UrApp is currently being tested in a clinical trial funded by the NIH (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04075656).
One version of the application is currently available from the Apple App Store.
Publication: Wang, C. et al. (2019). BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 19(1), 105.