On 18 February 2022, the Public Health Group held a training workshop for the updated version of the electronic Patient Locator App (ePAL). The workshop targeted research group heads, researchers, and field workers with the aim of making ePAL a necessary aid in the research work undertaken at MLW.
This new version of ePAL has come with some very exciting functions that will go a long way in enhancing the impact of research at MLW and even beyond. Some new functions of ePAL include e-collect and e-tag which make ePAL a competitive and unique innovation in geolocation technology. The e-tag is a function that allows users to capture pictures of important sites and upload them to the ePAL server for easy identification. The e-locate enables users to simply do a long-press of a particular point on the map which automatically captures the longitude and latitude of that point and stores the location in the ePAL server.
It goes without saying that researchers will now have an opportunity to easily track people and places using this new advanced ePAL technology. With precise data and a simplified patient follow-up mechanism, we believe that ePAL will not only improve saving costs that are often incurred through old-fashioned patient tracking, but research involving tracking down patients will potentially get an upper hand in health innovation grant opportunities.
The training participants found the app extremely user-friendly with little or no prior explanation required. Some researchers at MLW have already begun using the new ePAL and we look forward to seeing the app being used more.