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2012.08.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Students Create Information Sharing Software for Medical Professionals, Patients

Omaha - Two University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students and a UNO alumna are taking on personalized healthcare with a new software system designed to make communication easier between patients and doctors across the world.

Expat Care is a new and pragmatic healthcare model designed by UNO student Patrick Kwete. Kwete is currently studying mathematics, computer science and bioinformatics at UNO.

Mengyi Zha, a UNO graduate and incoming medical student at Dartmouth, and Iyad Aldalooj, an engineering graduate student, joined Kwete to promote Expat.

“Expat is providing a platform to let health care providers make available information that is overlooked in research studies,” Kwete explained on the program’s website. “There are large numbers of medical conditions, different treatments and drugs, different genetic variants and other items that differentiate individuals. It follows that the Expat system is the easiest and best way to make the large amount of information required for truly personalized care available now and in the future.”

The Expat Care system is composed of two parts: a software program for healthcare providers and website accounts for individuals.

The program designed for providers is described, by its creators, as a system that analyzes how specific treatments affect an individual with a particular disease or condition, taking into consideration differences in weight, age, past prescriptions or other clinical issues.

David Kadisha, a practicing physician in Lusaka, Zambia, has tried the Expat system and described it as “fantastic.”

“Imagine all the possibilities this software can offer,” he added. “Simply having a global network connecting treatment providers, sharing treatment outcome experience, improving efficiency and having these services available at all clinics and hospitals worldwide is great."

In using the system, physicians will share quantifiable data, which is not tied to specific patient information, in order to determine how well, or poorly, certain treatments work.

James Withers, creator of Street Medicine, a collection of physicians, outreach workers and others designed to assist the world’s homeless populations, has described Expat as something that "could be the future of real-time medical research."

Individuals can also create web accounts that provide “an easy and fun way” to manage their health information, according to the Expat website. Areas will be available within the accounts for patients to submit prescription information, condition information and contact information that can not only be shared with healthcare providers within the Expat network, but immediate family members and other chosen confidants.

“For healthcare providers, it offers them additional information about patients that could be of great diagnostic use,” the creators explained.

Currently, the Expat software is being implemented in Saudi Arabia and China while the website is being hosted through UNO. The software will be available for use later this year in Saudi Arabia, and in 2013 in China, while the website will be offered to UNO students for use starting with the Fall 2012 semester.

Initial interest in the project extends beyond these three countries already. A video explaining the Expat program was posted to YouTube in June and already has 125,000 views from 120 different countries. There are also working relationships being formed with medical representatives from Egypt and South Africa.

"With millions of people suffering from conditions that pose a challenge in setting out the optimum treatment course, this technology is vital,” Zha explained, “We are happy to be able to be a part of a universal idea that can help so many and bring people together.”

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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