Queen's CISC 499 Proposals:
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1. Clinical Queries Mobile Application development
Clinicians in the intensive care unit are faced with more complex patients in a world with ever-increasing access to information. As such, targeted questions are frequently asked to ensure personalized care. Currently, questions are entered into a web-based search utility, such as Google. These queries may have important insights into the delivery of clinical care.
The goal of this project is to develop a mobile application to return clinical queries entered on a Google toolbar. The app will return Google results unaltered, and also create a database of the queries entered, to be used for further analysis of query themes. Subsequent research will involve ranking query terms by quality of evidence, and will provide customized results for medical professionals. Only the search and data collection functionalities will be within the scope of the project. Application development would have functionality on both Android and iPhone operating systems.
2. Pill recognition at the point of care
Medications in the form of pills, tablets, and capsules, are designed to have distinctive appearances so that they are recognizable to the patients taking them, and the physicians prescribing them. But with so many medications on the market - many of which look similar - a lot of medications can go unrecognized, leading to medication errors both at home and in the hospital. The power to easily and reliably identify a medication by looking at the pill itself would help reduce medication errors, and help physicians know what medications their patients are taking.
For this project, students will create a proof-of-concept smart phone app that uses the phone's camera to take a picture of a pill, analyze the image to extract distinctive features, and cross-reference with a pharmaceuticals database in order to identify the pill. The user would receive not only the medication name, but a host of dosing and safety information tailored to either the patient or the prescriber. Going one step further, the user could take a picture of two or more pills together to identify potentially important interactions between the medications. The pill recognition app would be useful to patients, pharmacists, and physicians alike, and stands to improve the safety of medication prescribing and administration which currently causes significant morbidity and even mortality in Canada and beyond.