Participate in a study on hepatitis C. From your iPhone.
For this study, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital are asking people with hepatitis C to use their smartphones to report information about themselves that may improve how hepatitis C is treated.
If you participate in this study, we will ask you about your health, activities, medications, and the ways in which hepatitis C has impacted your daily life. This information will be reported anonymously—meaning the researchers won’t know who you are.
The C Tracker app will collect information on your health through short surveys that will include questions like:
The C Tracker app will set occasional reminders to use the app to complete these study tasks. You will be reminded about every 4 months for an overall survey and about every 2 weeks for a quick survey, asking about how well you recently fared. You can choose not to have the app provide reminders.
This study is open to adults ages 18 and over who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C. It is open only to residents of the United States of America at this time. Finally, you need to be able to read and understand English.
You should own a compatible iPhone. iPhone 5S or newer have special motion sensors built in to record your daily movement without draining your battery. To help make activity information as useful as possible, you should carry the iPhone with you as much as possible, for instance in your pocket or clipped on your waist belt.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease cause by infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus.
Most people with hepatitis C are in the “baby-boomer” generation and acquired their infections decades ago. Today, most people with new HCV infections become infected with the HCV by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. For a minority of people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for 70%–85% of people who become infected with hepatitis C, long-term, chronic infection follows. Although not everyone with chronic hepatitis C progresses to serious liver disease, chronic hepatitis C can be a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, including liver scarring (which can lead to cirrhosis), liver failure, liver cancer, even death. The majority of infected persons might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs. Fortunately, highly effective, very well tolerated oral medications are available that, effectively, can cure hepatitis C, but their high cost has limited their broad application.