Doctors develop decision support tool

Doctors will soon be armed with a revolutionary electronic tool to address serious men's health issues.

Comprehensive Care, Waitemata PHO and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand have signed a contract to make the software available to doctors by next year.

The project is to create a decision support tool for doctors and patients to deal with health issues such as prostate disease.

It is hoped the tool will lead to IT-supported screening for diabetes and heart risk.

Birkenhead doctor Prakash Appanna is involved in developing the prototype.

"I was concerned about the confusion being created with messages to the public and GPs about prostate specific antigen testing and prostate cancer screening. The debate about PSA screening was clouding the key issues we should be addressing.

"I therefore set about developing a tool that would put the focus where it should be, on men's health and quality of life."

Waitemata PHO clinical director Lannes Johnson is leading the project and says the new tool will reduce unnecessary and possibly harmful investigations or treatment and provide early diagnosis of prostate conditions. The project is being funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

North Shore Times