Introducing CHES—Computer-Based Health Evaluation System

The international scientific community is more globalized, inter-connected and interdisciplinary as ever before. In this sense, we would like to briefly introduce CHES, our long-time partner from the field of medicine.

”How are you doing today?“ This phrase has been used on a daily basis by physicians around the globe to assess their patients’ subjective physical condition. Still, the subjective condition is not captured in the patient’s medical files. Scientists have long been complaining about the ”missing voice of patients“ when evaluating the patient’s condition or assessing side effects of a therapy. Whether the patient’s actual quality of life is increased by a specific treatment can only be assessed by patients themselves. Therefore, Patient-reported Outcomes (PROs), i.e., the patient’s subjective condition, have gained increasing importance when evaluating novel drugs and treatment strategies. CHES, the Computer-Based Health Evaluation System has been developed to address these problems. Patients suffering from chronic diseases fill out specifically designed, standardized questionnaires measuring PROs on a user-friendly tablet device. The collected data is aggregated into subscales, which can be used by physicians in the following discussion with the patient. This allows the physician to focus on the aspects the patient is most concerned about.

CHES is currently used in several hospitals in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Additionally, CHES is used for data collection in international studies with participants from all over the globe. Meanwhile, CHES can look back to almost a decade of cooperation with the Institute of Computer Science. Back in 2005, Dr. Bernhard Holzner, Dr. Gerhard Rumpold, the founders of CHES, met Dr. Barbara Weber, marking the beginning of a fruitful partnership. In a series of bachelor theses an initial prototype of CHES was developed. Among the first students working on this project were Stefan Zugal, Jakob Pinggera and Felix Schöpf. Now, a few years later, Felix Schöpf is a full-time software developer for CHES. Stefan, Jakob and Barbara are also still involved in this project on a limited basis, making this one of our longest lasting and most successful cooperations.

Selected Publications

  • B. Holzner, J. Giesinger, J. Pinggera, S. Zugal, F. Schöpf, A. Oberguggenberger, E. Gamper, A. Zabernigg, B. Weber and G. Rumpold: The computer-based health evaluation system (CHES): a software for electronic patient-reported outcome monitoring. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 12(126), 2012 
  • Towards the Implementation of Quality of Life Monitoring in Daily Clinical Routine: Methodological Issues and Clinical Implication. Giesinger J, Kemmler G, Meraner V, Gamper EM, Oberguggenberger A, Sperner-Unterweger B, Holzner B. Breast Care (Basel). 2009; 4(3):148-154.
  • Implementation of computer-based quality-of-life monitoring in brain tumor outpatients in routine clinical practice. Erharter A, Giesinger J, Kemmler G, Schauer-Maurer G, Stockhammer G, Muigg A, Hutterer M, Rumpold G, Sperner-Unterweger B, Holzner B. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010; 39(2):219-29. 
  • Development of a screening tool for the identification of psychooncological treatment need in breast cancer patients. Meraner V, Giesinger J, Kemmler G, Taucher S, Hubalek M, Weber B, Rumpold G, Sperner-Unterweger B, Holzner B. Psychooncology. 2009; 18(9):974-83.