FDA Launches CURE ID Infectious Disease Crowdsourcing App for Clinicians

Megan Brooks

December 05, 2019

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has globally launched CURE ID, an internet-based repository that allows healthcare providers to share and discuss their experiences treating difficult-to-treat infectious diseases through a website, a smartphone, or other mobile device.

CURE ID is a collaboration between the FDA and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

"The CURE ID application focuses on drugs for infectious diseases lacking adequate treatments, including neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious threats, and infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant organisms," Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, FDA principal deputy commissioner, said in a news release.

"When healthcare professionals directly input their clinical cases into the app, CURE ID allows these real-world experiences to be organized and analyzed much faster, making it easier to spot promising new uses for existing drugs," said Abernethy.

The FDA hopes that CURE ID will help connect major treatment centers, academics, private practitioners, government facilities, and other healthcare professionals from around the world and ultimately get treatments to patients faster, she added.

The repository captures clinical outcomes when approved drugs are used for new indications, in new populations, in new doses, or in new combinations, the FDA explains.

"Power of Crowdsourcing"

Collecting real-world experience in the app will help identify drug candidates for additional study, encourage further drug development, and may serve as a resource for clinicians making individual patient treatment decisions in the absence of established safe and effective options, the agency said.

The app will also help in identifying approved drugs that could be repurposed, the FDA added.

"The potential importance of new therapeutic opportunities from repurposing drugs can't be understated," NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, MD, said in the release. "The CURE ID platform exemplifies how collaborative efforts can spark innovations that benefit patients. This new platform harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to help gather medical observations in the field and help identify potentially effective treatments for diseases."

With CURE ID, healthcare providers complete a case report form about their experience using an approved product for an unapproved use. Providers can browse from a collection of cases that have already been documented, including successful and unsuccessful treatments, as well as view relevant clinical trials and those open to enrollment at clinicaltrials.gov. The app also has a discussion forum where providers can connect with other caregivers around the world.

The app includes a search feature with data from 325 different infectious diseases and syndromes. It includes nearly 1500 initial cases from clinicians and the published literature and over 18,000 clinical trials.

The full launch of the CURE ID app follows the release of several pilot versions after an initial innovation award from US Department of Health & Human Services IDEA Lab in April 2015. During the pilot phase, extensive user testing was conducted in India and South Africa, with additional feedback collected from users in the United States, Europe, and Peru.

To download and use the CURE ID application, visit https://cure.ncats.io or download "CURE ID" from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

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