Tuesday, July 03, 2012

HEAT Trial: Our software in use across Australasia.

After months of development, we're preparing for the roll out of our innovative software system in one of the most ambitious clinical trials to be undertaken in Australasia.

Involving over 700 patients across 22 Intensive Care Units in Australia and New Zealand, the HEAT Trial focuses on the effect of paracetamol on critically ill patients with known or suspected infection.

Co-ordinated by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Group, the trial begins on 15 June, and as Chief Investigator and Intensive Care Specialist, Dr Paul Young points out, relies heavily on having effective IT systems. “At each of the 22 ICUs involved in the study there will be at least 100 staff involved, which means a total of over 2000 staff contributing, so our IT systems need to be very intuitive and Spiral has delivered just that.”

Pilot testing of the software is currently underway at Wellington Hospital, and Spiral Managing Director, Audrey Shearer is pleased with the initial results. “In a trial of this nature the integrity of the data is a key factor, so we’ve had to build lots of checks and balances into the software and provide a clear audit trail. At the same time however we wanted it to be easy for medical staff to use, with minimal training required. And from the feedback we’ve had, it looks like we’ve achieved that. Staff are able to input data directly into the software, which is a huge time saver and reduces the chance of error. Using cloud based software, with all information stored on the same server, it’s also possible to get accurate information in real time, a huge advantage when you’re dealing with critically ill patients.”

In selecting a software supplier for the trial, being Wellington based was important to the MRINZ. “We found the regular face to face meetings and the fact that they operate in the same time zone really valuable,” says Dr Young. “Spiral’s cloud based solution has also come in at a fraction of the cost of previous systems and is likely to set a new benchmark for multi centre research.”

The HEAT Trial follows closely on the heels of another cloud based software solution developed for Hutt Valley company Medent Medical, who came to Audrey with an idea for integrating their customers’ ordering process with their website. Now Medent is rolling out its innovative system to medical centres throughout the country, transforming the way their customers order medical supplies.

Audrey maintains there’s a growing market for taking local software solutions and publishing all or part of them on the web, particularly where you have multiple users, multiple locations and a need for real time information. “For a self confessed ‘software developer who loves the web’, it’s an exciting time.”

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