The recent development of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA’s) – Merck’s boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek) from Vertex has transformed the management of Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV).

In particular, the addition of these agents, just FDA approved in May 2011, can increase the likelihood of attaining a sustained virologic response (SVR) and even decrease the duration of treatment, compared to existing therapies.

Sponsored by pharmaceutical developers Vertex and Merck, the HCV Care & Guidance App was developed by Projects in Knowledge for the iPhone and iPad to assist clinicians, especially nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with the use of these exciting new medications in the clinic setting.

Projects in Knowledge, founded in 1980 and based in New Jersey, specializes in peer-reviewed continuing medical education and has developed a number of medically-themed iPhone & iPad apps, including ones pertaining to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes.

Read below to learn more about how the HCV Care & Guidance App can offer assistance with the use of DAA therapy in HCV.

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The use of the HCV Care & Guidance App requires registration with Projects in Knowledge, which is free and takes less than 1 minute.

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The app’s table of contents features sections divided into six chapters, webcasts, video vignettes, and content from AASLD 2011, or the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

The six chapters, which are designated as CME/CE activities, cover the following:

  1. Getting ready for direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy
  2. What you need to know about the new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens
  3. Hematologic adverse effects
  4. Dermatologic adverse effects
  5. Gastrointestinal adverse effects
  6. Neuropsychiatric adverse effects

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Each chapter offers CME/CE credit as shown above, and begins with a short pre-test before introducing the content.

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The development of content is overseen by an editorial board that consists of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and a clinical research director. One strength of this app is the inclusion of embedded links to multimedia, including articles, illustrations, and videos.

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Each chapter includes the highlighted “take-away points,” and includes a series of tables among the text for well-organized education on DAA therapy.

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References are included, though many are package inserts for medications.

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The end of each chapter features a post-test for users to receive credit for completing the learning module.

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The app also includes two 30-to-40-minute audio webcasts, which feature slides for visual correlation. The well-presented webcasts also utilize case studies to help educate listeners on new paradigms in the management of HCV as well as monitoring and managing patients on anti-HCV therapy.

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Next, the app also features several shorter video vignettes presenting hypothetical cases that clinicians would be likely to encounter in the outpatient setting.

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Finally, the app features a near-two-hour video from AASLD on Paradigm Shifts in HCV Standard of Care Treatment: DAAs. Like the rest of the app’s content, the videos can be viewed horizontally or vertically on the iPhone or iPad.

Pricing:

  • The HCV Care & Guidance App is free at the iTunes store.

Likes:

  • Loads of high-quality information pertaining to the use of DAA’s, including selecting candidates for therapy, dosing guides, managing adverse effects, follow-up scheduling, and monitoring for compliance and virologic response
  • Education presented via text, tables, illustrations, webcasts, and videos
  • Well-organized content and smooth user interface
  • Free!

Concerns:

  • Sponsored by pharmaceutical manufacturers Vertex (who developed telaprevir) and Merck (who developed boceprevir)
  • Specific content useful mostly for clinicians who manage Hepatitis C

Conclusion:

  • The HCV Care & Guidance App from Projects in Knowledge is a free resource sponsored by the pharmaceutical developers of the DAA’s that features well-presented, high-quality, and clinically useful information for clinicians who manage Hepatitis C infection.

iTunes Link