ACADEMIA mUST read

An interdisciplinary research team led by Dr. Teresa T. Sy Ortin, MS, who also serves as director of the UST Hospital – Benavides Cancer Institute (USTH-BCI), and Dr. Jocelyn C. Que, the Chief Program Officer of the UST Center for Pain Medicine, of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the USTH-BCI was awarded with the 2016 International Innovation Grant by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) International.

The grant is for the team’s project titled “A Mobile Application for Monitoring Patient-Reported Outcomes in Cancer Care.” The UST researchers developed the prototype mobile app named iComPAsS (internet-based Computerized Patient Assessment System) in 2014 for use in mobile phones utilizing the iOS and Android operating systems.

The iComPAsS is envisioned to facilitate remote monitoring of patients’ symptoms by the physician and to enable the physician to advise patients on the need for a follow-up visit. It is not intended to formulate a diagnosis, manage symptoms or take the place of the physician but, rather, to complement current cancer care by reducing existing barriers that limit adequate management in the local setting — inadequate or delayed detection of symptoms, poor patient compliance, and lack of patient-physician communication.

In 2013, the Conquer Cancer Foundation and ASCO International launched the International Innovation Grant, a one-year research grant that provided up to $20,000 in support of novel and innovative projects that can have a significant impact on cancer control in low- and middle-income countries (LMCs).

As one of the four 2016 recipients of the prestigious grant, the UST interdisciplinary collaboration is currently working on the clinical validation of the mobile application that it has developed to facilitate monitoring of patient-reported outcomes. The project is expected to be completed by 2017. Plans for improving the iComPAsS are directed toward expanding the array of assessment tools with inclusion of validated Filipino versions and enhancing the functionality of the app.

The other members of the research team are Dr. Warren R. Bacorro and Dr. Paolo G. Sogono from the USTH-BCI Department of Radiation Oncology; Engr. Alex A. Santos, director of the UST Institute of Information and Computing Sciences (IICS), Engr. Janet E. Sideño and Engr. Raymond Zalameda, faculty members of the IICS; and Ms. Stephanie Ann G. Balid and Ms. Catherine Joy Escuadra of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences.