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OncoAssist becomes latest app to be classified as a medical device

Cancer iPhone and iPad app offers clinical decision support tools

OncoAssist iPhone oncology appAn iPhone and iPad app that offers oncologists a full range of clinical decision support tools has become the latest mobile application to be classified as a medical device.

The OncoAssist app is registered with, and regulated by, the Irish Medical Board and CE marked as a medical device, putting it on a par with Mersey Burns and Airstrip's patient monitoring apps.

OncoAssist is designed to save oncologists time by providing quick and easy access to prognostic tools that can help with decisions on risk stratification and clinical trial.

Although free to download, users pay a monthly fee to use the app. This is currently set at €0.89/£0.69 but will increase as more tools are added in to it.

The Cork-based company behind the app, Portable Medical Technology, told PMLiVE the OncoAssist app was the first in a planned series of FDA/CE approved apps it would build for specialist medics.

Although an Irish company, Portable Medical Technology is currently based in London in order to take part in the Healthbox Europe start-up accelerator programme. 

The company said it was currently on the look out for partnership opportunities with the industry, and highlighted access to anonymised data, sponsorship and market research as possible areas of collaboration.

The team behind the app includes two graduates in masters of electronic business at University College Cork, Eoin O'Carroll and Kevin Bambury, with medical direction provided by Kevin's brother Dr Richard Bambury.

Dr Bambury, a medical oncology specialist registrar currently working at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, said he saw “a pressing need for an high technology mobile application that offered me all the tools I needed as I did my rounds”.

“For example, in order to assess how much benefit our patients are likely to receive from chemotherapy we have traditionally used estimates based on prior clinical trial data that may not be applicable to the patient we see in the clinic. 

“There are a limited number of online tools available to make more precise estimates but none of these are in smartphone format so we have tried to provide these tools.”

Initially only available for iPhone and iPads, Portable Medical Technology said it aims to be able to offer an Android version within the next 6-12 months.

Pharma has so far shied away from getting its expanding range of mobile apps certified as medical devices, despite Pfizer being forced to conduct a medical device recall in 2011 when formulas used in its Rheumatology Calculator app were found to contain errors.

19th February 2013

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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