Digital Triage Tool webPOISONCONTROL® Launches Comprehensive Upgrade to Help More People with Poison Exposures

National Capital Poison Center’s first-of-its-kind app developed by EPAM makes it easy to find recommendations for poison emergencies

Newtown, PA – September 20, 2017  EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services, and the National Capital Poison Center (NCPC) today announced the release of an extensive upgrade of the webPOISONCONTROL online tool and app. It is the first online, automated triage tool and app for poison emergencies. The new upgrade provides help for individuals with poison exposures involving pharmaceuticals, supplements, household products and plants, whether swallowed, splashed on the eye or skin, or inhaled, and even helps if symptoms are already present.

According to the National Poison Data System, in 2015, 85% of poison exposures reported to U.S. poison centers were nontoxic, minimally toxic or had, at most, a minor effect. Numerous studies have demonstrated that minimally toxic poison exposures drive up healthcare costs due to unnecessary emergency room visits. A 2012 Lewin Group report shows that the return on investment from the poison center system is $13.39 per dollar spent, saving $1.8 billion per year in unnecessary medical costs and lost productivity. webPOISONCONTROL increases cost savings by appealing to people who otherwise wouldn’t call Poison Control.

“Every day, nearly 6,000 people call U.S. poison centers and another 4,000 to 9,000 struggle with a poison exposure but don’t call. They don’t call for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t like talking on the phone or getting stuck in phone queues, and many are embarrassed, suspect they will be judged, don’t have phone access or don’t want to scare their children. Too many people just guess – resulting in needless ER visits for those who don’t need to see a doctor, and dire outcomes for those who stay home when they should have sought medical care.”

                                             says Toby Litovitz, MD, medical toxicologist and director of the project.

When using webPOISONCONTROL, a user can enter the name of the substance, pill imprint code, or scan the product barcode, and add the amount swallowed, age, weight and symptoms in approximately three minutes. Users then receive a specific recommendation that it’s safe to stay at home, go to the ER or call Poison Control for further guidance. If a user receives the recommendation to stay home, the tool tells the user what to do and then provides information about specific symptoms that are likely to occur and are not of concern, as well as symptoms that should trigger a call to Poison Control or an ER visit. The tool also provides a pill identifier for quick recognition.

“To make the tool effective, the National Capital Poison Center needed a technology partner that could consolidate and integrate an immense amount of data, and deliver it to the user in a simple, easy-to-use application. Using our big data, software engineering and UX expertise, we developed a solution built on 3,300 complex algorithms that accurately analyzes 52,000 products and 207,000 barcodes. We are very proud to work with NCPC to improve poisoning outcomes across the country.”

                                                                            said Kevin Labick, Co-Head, Digital Engagement, EPAM. 

To date, more than 60,000 people have safely used webPOISONCONTROL for online poison exposure help. Recommendations are free, confidential and prepared by clinical toxicology experts. webPOISONCONTROL is sponsored by the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C. and is used by ten participating poison centers. It is funded by donations, including a generous grant from the Potomac Health Foundation. Learn more about webPOISONCONTROL, view NCPC’s infographic, read the case study, explore the tool, or download it on the App Store or on Google Play.

Source: EPAM Systems
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