FDA Fielding App to Track Drug Side Effects During Emergencies

Aliya Sternstein | NextGov | January 5, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration is building a surveillance app for clinicians and regulators to monitor patients having bad reactions to experimental drugs administered during public health crises, agency officials said.

The so-called Real-Time Application for Portable Interactive Devices, or RAPID, will collect videos and images of patient reactions, such as skin lesions, as well as sound recordings of medical histories. And the app will be able to display geographic trends in effects by tracking the Global Positioning System locations of users. The system first will be tested on a small number of smartphone users and later tried out on tablet computers, including iPads, according to a notice posted Wednesday on the government buying website FedBizOpps.

FDA plans to contract with a software developer that can produce a fully operational prototype within one year and a strategy for fielding the app nationwide, the solicitation stated. The tool must be compatible with iPhones, Android-based phones and BlackBerry devices -- in that order of priority, according to the announcement.