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Benchmarking therapeutic drug monitoring software: A systematic evaluation of available computer tools
Title of the conference
80. Jahresversammlung der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine Innere Medizin
Basel, Schweiz, 23.-25. Mai 2012
Swiss Medical Forum
Introduction: Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) aims at optimizing treatment by individualizing dosage regimen based on measurement of blood concentrations. Maintaining concentrations within a target range requires pharmacokinetic and clinical capabilities. Bayesian calculation represents a gold standard in TDM approach but requires computing assistance. In the last decades computer programs have been developed to assist clinicians in this assignment. The aim of this benchmarking was to assess and compare computer tools designed to support TDM clinical activities.¦Method: Literature and Internet search was performed to identify software. All programs were tested on common personal computer. Each program was scored against a standardized grid covering pharmacokinetic relevance, user-friendliness, computing aspects, interfacing, and storage. A weighting factor was applied to each criterion of the grid to consider its relative importance. To assess the robustness of the software, six representative clinical vignettes were also processed through all of them.¦Results: 12 software tools were identified, tested and ranked. It represents a comprehensive review of the available software's characteristics. Numbers of drugs handled vary widely and 8 programs offer the ability to the user to add its own drug model. 10 computer programs are able to compute Bayesian dosage adaptation based on a blood concentration (a posteriori adjustment) while 9 are also able to suggest a priori dosage regimen (prior to any blood concentration measurement), based on individual patient covariates, such as age, gender, weight. Among those applying Bayesian analysis, one uses the non-parametric approach. The top 2 software emerging from this benchmark are MwPharm and TCIWorks. Other programs evaluated have also a good potential but are less sophisticated (e.g. in terms of storage or report generation) or less user-friendly.¦Conclusion: Whereas 2 integrated programs are at the top of the ranked listed, such complex tools would possibly not fit all institutions, and each software tool must be regarded with respect to individual needs of hospitals or clinicians. Interest in computing tool to support therapeutic monitoring is still growing. Although developers put efforts into it the last years, there is still room for improvement, especially in terms of institutional information system interfacing, user-friendliness, capacity of data storage and report generation.
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