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Building the First-of-its-Kind Poison Emergency App and Digital Triage Tool

Case Study
  • Healthcare

The National Capital Poison Center (NCPC), an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing poisonings, saving lives, and limiting related injuries, noticed a disturbing trend over recent years. The number of poisoning deaths had been increasing, while calls to Poison Centers across the nation were decreasing. Moreover, poisoning victims and their caregivers were more often choosing the internet over the phone in poison emergencies, but there was no trusted online resource. The information obtained online was often incorrect and even potentially fatal.

NCPC asked EPAM to design and build a first-of-its-kind online website and application for use in poison emergencies. EPAM and NCPC launched webPOISONCONTROL®, a free, easy-to-use online resource for the public to get reliable poison information and an innovative interactive tool to help triage poison exposures. With each download, the number of lives saved grows, and the level of panic for the victims of poison emergencies and those around them becomes diminished.

Key Challenges

  • Removing the guess work in critical situations
  • Designing and building a website and application for use in poison emergencies
  • Reducing the number of lives lost to poison emergencies

Solution Highlights

The final, complete solution delivers accurate and safe recommendations and features the following specifications:

  • A growing substance database of more than 52,000 pharmaceuticals, supplements, household products andplants and 207,000 barcodes
  • Android and iOS mobile applications (including geolocation and barcode/UPC scanning)
  • A pill identifier application to identify pills based on color, shape, and imprint code
  • An innovative recommendation engine built on 3,300 complex algorithms that accurately analyzes age,weight, thresholds and ingredients
  • Three fully responsive web applications

The Results

In September 2015, EPAM and NCPC launched webPOISONCONTROL® after a successful pilot phase, making the app available to anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone. Based on age, weight, substance and amount swallowed, this expert tool tells the user exactly what to do in each case: stay at home, because toxicity is minimal; go immediately to the ER; or call Poison Control for further guidance. If the recommendation is to stay at home, the app provides information on 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. In 2017, EPAM helped NCPC upgrade the tool to allow for various routes of exposure whether swallowed, splashed on the eye or skin, or inhaled for individuals aged six months to 79 years.

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