June 04, 2018

CDC app aims to improve diagnosis, treatment of hematologic disorders

The app was designed with the goal of decreasing the confusion experienced by clinicians when ordering lab tests and choosing or managing a patient’s anticoagulation.

Written by: Christina Crowe

Media contact: Adam Pope, arpope@uab.edu



marissa marques appThe app, available on any Apple device, aims to guide the user in lab testing and the administration of anticoagulate drugs.Blood clots affect nearly a million Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and determining the correct type and dosage of an anticoagulant to treat them can be challenging.

A new app designed by a multidisciplinary team including Marisa B. Marques, M.D., a professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology in the Division of Lab Medicine, aims to guide the user in lab testing and the administration of anticoagulant drugs.

The Anticoagulation Manager (ACM) App is a free mobile app developed by researchers with the CDC and the Georgia Institute of Technology. It serves as a resource for clinicians to assist in the correct dosage and frequency of the appropriate drug for patients with various thrombotic risks or diagnoses. The app walks users through possible patient scenarios, such as “start a patient on anticoagulation” or “reverse a patient’s anticoagulation,” then prompts a selection of the patient’s condition and provides options based on specific traits of each individual, such as age, comorbidities, and other medications he or she is taking.

“This app was designed with the goal of decreasing the confusion experienced by clinicians when ordering lab tests and choosing or managing a patient’s anticoagulation,” Marques said. “Solutions for these challenges will improve utilization of laboratory services and reduce diagnostic and treatment errors and delays.”

Marques is one of two pathologists who created the app with the technical assistance of the CDC, along with Michael Laposata, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston

The project is the work of the CDC’s Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative (CLIHC™), established by the CDC’s Division of Laboratory Systems to “develop solutions to optimize the effective use of laboratory services for better patient care,” according to its website. The app was a response to a need for challenges faced by clinicians when choosing and monitoring anticoagulants.

Marques previously worked with Laposata on the development of another app for the CDC called Partial Thromboplastin Time or PTT Advisor, which aims to assist in the ordering and evaluation of a prolonged PTT.

“We are excited to be a part of the team designing apps specifically for clinicians, which aim to reduce the rate of errors by assisting with decision-making,” Marques said. “They are easy to incorporate in a physician’s existing workflow, while building user confidence.”

The apps run on Apple products and can be downloaded free from iTunes, here. Visit the CDC’s website for more information about CLIHC and the app. 

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