App Technology to Track Regular Cyclical Data
The University of Melbourne, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology MRFF-funded research group “Endometriosis: Diagnosis, Innovation and Treatment” aims to improve the quality of life for all people living with endometriosis and associated persistent pelvic pain (PPP) through research-driven improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
One of the projects within this research group is The effect of surgical excision vs conservative management of moderate to severe endometriosis on future fertility (ELFS) and is led by Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Honorary Clinical A/Prof Martin Healey, Clinical Senior Research Fellow Dr Samantha Mooney and Clinical Senior Research Fellow Dr Vanessa Ross.
This project is focused on recruiting those who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe endometriosis and desiring future fertility.
Our team has successfully developed a study-specific mobile phone App, with the assistance of the Melbourne eResearch, University of Melbourne. It is noted that only 2% of menstrual cycle and reproductive care apps are developed by clinicians (Moglia and Castano, 2015). As far as we are aware, ELFS is the first study in gynaecology to collect regular cyclical data via App technology.
Patients will complete a cyclical survey regarding treatments – surgical and medical – ART interventions, pregnancy and its outcomes.
The App algorithm adjusts based on menstrual cycle length and contraceptive use and pregnancy status and this will continuously update to ensure that the monthly reminders for survey completion are timely for the patients. Longitudinal data is collected in this manner for the duration of participant involvement. After 18 months of a complex build, we are excited to report that the App is now available for study participants.
A snapshot view of the App that has been developed for participants:
The App logo and graphics by the talented Hayley Cottrell, MAC.G Design Studio and University of Melbourne, Master of Architecture student
The App has been designed to be available in English, Vietnamese and Hebrew and is available for patients who have enrolled in the study in Victoria, Australia and Israel. The App is available on both Apple and Android and also has webpage functionality that can be used, if that is that is easier for the patient.
Participants to date have been instrumental in providing their user experience with the App to ensure that the technology allows for intuitive and seamless participation in research.
Dr Vanessa Ross recently met with The Women’s news to discuss this project: https://www.thewomens.org.au/news/elfs-app-could-change-the-course-of-endometriosis
To find out more about this project, please visit https://www.endometriosis.org.au/