Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Interactive Voice Response Technology for Prostate Cancer Quality of Life Measurement

Technology #5658

An automated telephone assessment using interactive voice response technology was developed to monitor prostate cancer survivor quality of life. Currently in the U.S., there are over 2 million prostate cancer survivors that need continued monitoring. Current prostate cancer patient monitoring methods require patients to fill out an EPIC-26 (Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite) assessment in person. As a result, patient monitoring is less frequent and less reliable especially for those patients with limited healthcare access. A system is needed to allow patients to complete EPIC-26 questions within the comfort of their own home. Using automated telephone assessment for administering EPIC-26 to patients enables reliable monitoring of patient quality of life post-treatment. The interactive voice response technology assesses patients between visits, independently of a physician, in a timely fashion.

Automated telephone delivery of EPIC-26 assessment measures up to written evaluation

Head-to-head comparison of automated telephone versus written EPIC-26 assessment reveals similar data outcomes, but with higher response rates and compliance with telephone delivery. EPIC-26 measures urinary, bowel, and sexual function as well as vitality post-prostate cancer treatment. 40 prostate cancer survivors took the written and telephone assessment for comparison. The response rate via the telephone assessment was greater than 90%. Moreover, patient information flows to electronic health record databases, allowing effective patient monitoring. Automated telephone assessments similar to this one could be used to monitor a wide variety of patients post-treatment. For instance, CarePartners is another form of automated telephone assessment of the patient. However, CarePartners involves more individuals that are close to the patient and monitors conditions that may have more acute health consequences. Interactive voice technology EPIC-26 assessment allows tracking of the patient’s condition over time with minimal involvement of staff, unless action is required, since the information readily migrates to an electronic health record database. In home patient monitoring is a highly cost-effective reliable method that is likely to penetrate into other areas of patient care.

Applications • Administers survey to patients automatically • Flows information to electronic health record databases for efficient patient monitoring • Translatable to other clinical scenarios in which efficient, reliable patient monitoring is desirable

Advantages • Frequent assessment of patient symptoms even between clinic visits • Comparable responses to written EPIC-26 assessment • High response rate and compliance