Preparing for Brazil and the Month of October

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, and I wanted to update everyone on what I’ve been doing, and what I plan to do for the next month of October!

I’ve been developing an app that can help organize and transfer data from patients and nurses to dermatologists that are geographically disconnected. This app will affect people who can’t travel all the way to Brazil’s premier Barretos Cancer Hospital for a diagnosis of skin cancer. Last year, the previous GMI student got some feedback from nurses and dermatologists in Brazil about the app. They requested 3 things:

  • Improved security of patient info, photos, and data transfer
  • Automatic email notification to dermatologists when a patient survey for diagnosis is ready
  • Improved statistics of patient-generated data

I’ve steadily learned about the app and how to edit the REDCap platform. No previous coding or editing experience is needed to edit REDCap, the platform is pretty user friendly! I’ve successfully added some features that I believe will improve the security of patient information and data transfer. For example, a nurse can only input patient information on the app, but cannot edit the dermatologist’s diagnosis. I’ve also been creating more uniform ways of data input so more statistics can be performed. So far, dermatologists can see the statistics of patients’ ages, home state, number of questionable lesions, and type of skin cancer diagnosis (benign, malignant, or unclear). The only trouble I’ve been having is the automatic email notification- this has proved easier said than done!

I plan to have these issues resolved and the app crystal clear for use when I travel to Brazil on October 15. My goal is to observe how nurses learn and use the app, and how dermatologists send diagnostic info back to the nurse through the app. User feedback is incredibly important, and drives the direction of my project. I’m very excited to hear what the nurses and dermatologists at the Barretos Cancer Hospital have to say!

Aside from working on my implementation project, I’ve enjoyed taking a few breaks and having fun with some GMI friends. Yesterday, I did something I hadn’t done since middle school gym class- I played basketball! I scored 5 times, which is 5 times more than I expected. It was a great end to a busy week, and I’m looking forward to all the events (Brazil trip, BMES conference in Phoenix, and SWE conference in Austin) planned for October!

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