WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Use of a mobile app doubled the proportion of patients who were screened for colorectal cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine and published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Mobile Patient Technology for Health–CRC app informs patients of the need for screening and gives them the ability to self-order tests. Study participants who interacted with mPATH-CRC viewed an 8.6-minute decision aid about screening and reviewed the two most commonly used tests, fecal testing for blood and colonoscopy. The app then let patients select their own screening test. Screening was completed by 30% of the mPATH-CRC participants, compared to 15% of those receiving usual care. More mPATH-CRC participants could state a screening preference, planned to be screened within six months, discussed screening with their provider and had a screening test ordered. Half of mPATH-CRC participants self-ordered a test through the app. “Two components of mPATH-CRC directly encourage screening orders: the decision aid, which increases patients’ intention to receive screening, and the ability to self-order tests, which decreases barriers to order entry,” said Dr. David Miller Jr., author of the study.
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