Considerations for the development of an App to measure burn patient outcomes: an international IT perspective

Ms Rochelle Kurmis1, Ms Tanja Klotz1

1Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adult Burns Service, Adelaide, Australia


Technology is increasingly utilised to improve and streamline patient care. With the rapid adoption of electronic medical record systems and availability of hand held smart devices, the use of applications (Apps) to assist decision making is increasing. In burn care Apps are used to assist with percentage total body surface area burned and required fluid resuscitation calculations. In our endeavours to digitise a manual scar assessment tool previously developed at our centre, we uncovered many important considerations unique to this rapidly evolving space, of which we aim to present an overview.

Project planning involved but was not limited to: needs assessment; optimal digital platform determination, including accessibility, ongoing App maintenance requirements, and associated costs. A digital designer experienced in health Apps was engaged following a quoting process. Project funding was sourced following a grant application. Local ethics and research governance consent was obtained for the overall project. State information computer and technology (ICT) security requirements, implementation of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) requirements were considered in the App design. App disclaimers required review by health department legal experts prior to inclusion.

An App to assist the assessment of scar outcome measures was developed, that complies with local and international regulations pertaining to safety of sensitive individual data. The App assists clinicians and researchers with assessment of burn scars, in a visual and practical way, with reporting output suitable for inclusion in paper or electronic medical record formats.


Rochelle Kurmis has been the Allied Health Project Manager at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adult Burns Service since 2010. Her role incorporates supporting all multi-disciplinary staff in quality management, quality improvement, and research related activities across the continuum of care. She is a current ANZBA member and contributes to the BRANZ steering committee. She also co-chairs the Joanna Briggs Institute Burns Node.

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