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Author Notes:

Chia-shi Wang: chia-shi.wang@emory.edu

Research idea, study design, data analysis and interpretation: CW, RB, RM, WDW, LAG; Data analysis and interpretation: CM, CE, RP.

Each author contributed important intellectual content during manuscript drafting or revision and approved the final manuscript.

We thank the patients and families who participated in the research study.

We are also indebted to Pamela Winterberg and Bill Winterberg for their creation of the UrApp user instructional video.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Research Funding:

This study was supported by a research partnership between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Quick Wins; B1123G2).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Medical Informatics
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Mobile applications
  • Urinalysis
  • Children
  • CARE

Development of a novel mobile application to detect urine protein for nephrotic syndrome disease monitoring


Journal Title:

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making


Volume 19, Number 1


, Pages 105-105

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Home monitoring of urine protein is a critical component of disease management in childhood nephrotic syndrome. We describe the development of a novel mobile application, UrApp - Nephrotic Syndrome Manager, to aid disease monitoring. Methods: UrApp was iteratively developed by a panel of two pediatric nephrologists and three research engineers from May 2017 to October 2018 for Apple iPhones. App features were devised by this expert panel to support urine monitoring and other home care tasks. Each feature and user-app interface element was systematically reviewed by the panel and iteratively redesigned to remove anticipated use issues. The app prototype was then refined based on two rounds of usability testing and semi-structured user interviews with a total of 20 caregivers and adolescent patients. The analytic function of UrApp in providing a camera read of the urine test strip was compared to a standard urinalysis machine using 88 patient urine samples and three iPhones, model versions 6S and 7. Exact agreement and weighted kappa were calculated between the UrApp and urinalysis machine reads. Results: The final UrApp features include: camera read of a urine test strip; analysis of urine protein trends and alerts for new disease relapse/remission; transmission of urine protein results to providers; education materials; and medication reminders. During the second round of UrApp usability testing, all users were able to perform each of the functions without error and all perceived UrApp to be helpful and indicated that they would use UrApp. UrApp camera results had 97% exact agreement and an overall weighted kappa value of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.85-0.97) compared with standard urinalysis machine interpretation. Conclusions: UrApp was specifically designed to support patients and families living with nephrotic syndrome by supporting disease monitoring and home management tasks. The technically innovative feature that makes this possible is the use of a smartphone camera to read the urine test strip. This novel tool has the potential to improve disease monitoring and reduce management burden.

Copyright information:

© 2019 The Author(s).

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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