Using Design to Connect Patients, Providers, and Researchers: A Cognitive Assessment and Monitoring Platform for Integrative Research (CAMPFIRE)

Jacobs, P., Anello, D., and Elkin-Frankston, S.

Presented at the International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), Orlando, FL (July 2018).

There is a substantial need for an accessible suite of cognitive tests to assess and monitor signs of chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment during the treatment and survivorship phases of the cancer control continuum. To address this need we designed and demonstrated a Cognitive Assessment and Monitoring Platform for Integrative Research (CAMPFIRE), a privacy-compliant software system to support the administration of cognitive assessment measures and facilitate secure provider-patient interaction.

CAMPFIRE presented an interesting use case for balancing the needs of three user groups. Our first user group, cancer survivors, commonly report cognitive impairments following chemotherapy. They require intuitive access to their assessment tests so their providers can track these side effects. They also want to be able to access contact information for their providers. Our second group, providers, require easy access to their patient’s assessment results, but are also growing weary of logging into an increasing number of portals with duplicate information. Our final group, researchers, are faced with a growing number of cancer survivors, which comes with an increased urgency to better understand the precise etiology and prevalence of cognitive changes associated with cancer and cancer treatment. This understanding is impeded by a lack of assessment tools that can accurately detect the full scope of cognitive deficits. Researchers will also need an interface to access and analyze the data produced by those assessments in order to continue their work. These user groups not only differ in motivation, but also in requirements. Providers may be more used to working with one style of portal and Researchers, another. Providers may want only necessary information so their screens are not cluttered, while researchers may want as much information as is available. Cancer patients have different levels of technical literacy and accessibility needs when compared to one another, as well as security concerns. We needed to design a system that would make the provider’s job simpler, the researchers job well informed, and the patient’s job (taking the assessments) easy to navigate and intuitive, without letting the interface needs of each user type hinder the experience of the other user types.

To address these challenges, CAMPFIRE was developed as a privacy-compliant software system to support the administration of cognitive assessment measures, facilitate secured provider-patient interactions, and aid researchers in analyzing assessment data. CAMPFIRE integrates a suite of well-validated cognitive measures to assess and monitor changes in cognitive performance and patient-perceived symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment. Its provider-patient portal allows providers and researchers to remotely administer cognitive assessment measures to patients over time and is designed to be fully integrated within existing Electronic Health Record systems. Every element of the CAMPFIRE platform was developed with a focus on data protection and adherence to Health IT standards and our user interface was validated with provider and patient populations to ensure usability for all users.

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