November 19, 2015

Pharmaceutics’ Carol Collins part of drug risks in pregnancy mobile app team

A pregnant woman considers the medication she is about to take.

A pregnant woman considers the medication she is about to take.Thinkstock

Carol Collins, Clinical Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics, will bring her expertise in drug safety information and the design of drug safety databases to this important project that seeks to create a mobile app that will help convey information about drug risks for pregnant women in collaboration with faculty from UW Medicine, UW HCDE and right answer.com.

Janine Polifka, manager of UW Department of Pediatrics The Teratogen Information System, heads the UW component. TERIS contains up-to-date, authoritative information about the effects of drugs and chemicals on prenatal development.  The database covers peer-reviewed scientific research on the safety or toxicity of more than 1,600 agents. Among them are about 95 percent of the most frequently prescribed medications.  TERIS’s review board of fetal toxicology experts evaluate the magnitude of risk for each agent listed.

To create a mobile app that fits with clinicians, Gary Hsieh, assistant professor of human centered design and engineering at the UW College of Engineering, will gather information requirements of healthcare providers who treat pregnant women. Their viewpoints will shape the specifications for the mobile application.

Carol Collins, Clinical Assoc Prof, Pharmaceutics

Carol Collins, Clinical Assoc Prof, PharmaceuticsAlex Levine Photography

Joining Hsieh on the clinical usability trials and the app development is Carol Collins, clinical associate professor of pharmaceutics at the UW School of Pharmacy.  She has extensive experience in drug safety information and the design of drug safety databases. Collins has worked on the UW School of Pharmacy Drug Interaction Database and the University of Pittsburgh Drug Interaction Knowledge Base.

“Providing accurate and usable information to healthcare providers at point-of-care is very challenging,” she remarked. “We have to understand what the relevant questions are that healthcare providers have and address the challenges associated with providing information on the small screen format of mobile phones.”

Read the full story on UW Health Science NewsBeat.