App to Help Doctors, Patients Dealing with Domestic Abuse

August 7, 2018  Source: MobiHealthNews 155

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Resolve Greater Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology researchers got together to build a new app that helps evaluate a person’s physical and mental health. The system also assists doctors when giving advice regarding domestic abuse, which according to CDC data, affects one in four women and one in seven men. The app named RITa is currently being used at primary care facilities in Rochester, New York. 

 “Family care practitioners are often the first place victims of domestic violence turn for help," Allison O'Malley, CEO of Resolve, said in a statement. "Intimate-partner violence (IPV) is a complex issue with many negative health implications, and physicians need to know what to do when patients disclose abuse or when their symptoms raise concern.”

The program is directed from a primary care physicians' tablet, though healthcare professionals also plan to introduce the system to the public, according to a statement. A feature within the app, named RITa, asks 30 validating questions to users about different facets of their relationship and health. It then suggests the doctor and patient recommendations and further actions. 

"RITa is the first application of a 'female' avatar to screen for IPV among victims,” Caroline Easton, professor in RIT's College of Health Sciences and Technology School of Behavioral Health Sciences, said in a statement. "RITa illustrates how we can combine advancements in science and technology with art and design to make a real impact in our community and provide safety for those at risk for serious harm or injury.”

By Ddu
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