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New paper describes EDC by using the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index

Exco InTouch : 20 June, 2008  (Company News)
Exco InTouch has release a new technical paper which has been developed with the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) at the University of Queensland and focuses on a preliminary evaluation of cellular technology in capturing the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) NRS 3.1 Index data using mobile telephones.
The technical paper is entitled: 'Electronic Data Capture Using the WOMAC NRS 3.1 Index: a Pilot Study of Cellular Technology in OA'.

The paper details methods for mobile phone selection for the WOMAC Index, and identifies high levels of correlation between manual and electronic data capture (EDC) for the index, with no statistically significant differences between the methods. The new paper is available free of charge in downloadable PDF format via

Mobile technology is increasingly used in healthcare applications and can facilitate patient self-reporting and the completion of EDC questionnaires. The new technical paper from Exco InTouch describes the evaluation of an alternative approach to EDC in osteoarthritis, using appropriately-enabled mobile phones to capture the same data. Exco InTouch has developed a Java-based application of the WOMAC NRS 3.1 Index, m-WOMAC, enabling patients to quickly and easily complete EDC using the WOMAC Index via a mobile phone.

The WOMAC Index is a validated instrument for assessing hip and knee osteoarthritis. The index is a self-assessment questionnaire and includes questions on pain, stiffness, and physical function such as walking ability. Patient-reported outcomes using standardised, validated outcome measures are usually presented in paper format for the patient's self-completion. However, the method requires clinic attendance and has traditionally required the manual transcription of the data from paper to an electronic database.

m-WOMAC from Exco InTouch was developed directly from the original paper-based version of the questionnaire, and has been reviewed and approved for use by the originator of the WOMAC Index. During the evaluation, mobile phones were reviewed in Australia, Canada and the UK, and one phone was identified for suitability from each of the three major international brands: Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.

Patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis successfully completed EDC through cellular technology using m-WOMAC and the completion time was recorded automatically and compared with the time to complete the paper-based questionnaire. The results demonstrated that this new method is more convenient to patients, higher in efficiency and can be applied to clinical practice, disability management and clinical research situations.

Exco InTouch's work with the WOMAC index provides a complement to the company's current mobile EDC solutions. Using Exco InTouch's technology, messages are sent to a patient's mobile phone. Any reply the patient enters must be preceded with their unique PIN code which links the patient to the response and ensures complete data security. All data collected is available in real time for the appropriate stakeholders to view and read via a secure website.
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