Innovative Computer Prototype for HIV Screening and Brief Intervention

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
710 NICOLL AVE, BALTIMORE, MD, 21212-3152
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
(410) 435-7455
Business Contact:
(410) 435-7455
Research Institution:
Friends Research Institute, Inc.

1040 Park Avenue
() -
Domestic nonprofit research organization
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): HIV continues to be a major public health problem in the United States, but there has been limited penetration of HIV prevention services in many healthcare settings. Novel methods for seamlessly integrating HIV prevention into medical practice are needed. The proposed Phase 1 STTR project seeks to establish the feasibility of designing key components of an innovative computerized HIV risk screening and brief intervention software program that would be appropriate for use in a variety of healthcare settings. The envisioned HIV risk screening and brief intervention software will be designed for use on headphone-equipped touch screen tablet computers, a technology that is currently available and will only become more affordable and ubiquitous in the next decade. The proposed brief intervention will be informed by established social-behavioral theories and will use the promising strategies of personalized normative feedback, norms misperception correction, and targeted risk reduction education. Intervention content will be targeted specifically to each patient based on their responses to risk behavior screening questions. The envisioned product could ultimately have high potential for successful commercialization. Moreover, itcould have significant public health impact by facilitating faster diffusion of HIV prevention services in healthcare settings. The proposed project will has two overarching aims, each with specified milestones. These aims include (1) Core Components Design and (2) Feasibility Testing and Refinement. The formative research in this Phase I STTR will provide critical information to guide the design of a software application that can be rigorously tested in future randomized trials. Prototype development willbe guided by a Project Advisory Panel of relevant experts and service providers. Following development of a prototype, the software will be subjected to user testing, feedback, and refinement. Participants will be recruited from a community-based health clinic to test the prototype and discuss their experiences and suggestions for improvement in semi-structured qualitative interviews. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed Phase I STTR project will complete necessary groundwork to further the development of a computerized HIV screening and brief intervention software program that can be used in a variety of medical contexts. Using a research-driven process, the project will culminate in the development and user testing of a prototype software programwhich can then be further refined and tested in a rigorous randomized trial as part of a Phase II STTR project. The proposed project is highly innovative in its application of emerging technology to prevent one of the most devastating diseases of our time.It also represents a novel application of normative feedback and misperception correction strategies to reduce HIV risk behaviors. Finally, it is innovative in its use of existing epidemiological data to deliver precise, demographically-tailored normativecomparison information. The approach also has substantial public health potential, particularly given the front-end design considerations to ensure suitability of the ultimate product for a variety of healthcare environments. A computerized screening product with a built-in brief intervention could improve patient disclosure of risk behaviors and dramatically enhance the healthcare system's capacity to deliver HIV prevention to a broad spectrum of patients. The envisioned software would circumvent many ofthe persistent barriers that stymie the adoption of HIV prevention as part of routine care. It would do so without adding significantly to the time burden for healthcare staff. Hence, the envisioned software could dramatically accelerate uptake of HIV preventive services in various healthcare settings.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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