University of Akureyri (Iceland) Research and treatment for healing children with periodic fever

Árni Steinar Þorsteinsson and Þorsteinn I. Stefánsson Rafnar nominated for the President of Iceland’s Innovation Award for their project in computer science at HR and HR

Árni Steinar Þorsteinsson and Þorsteinn I. Stefánsson Rafnar have been nominated for the President of Iceland’s Innovation Award for their project in computer science at the University of Reykjavík and the University of Akureyri. The project concerns the creation of an app and a database for parents and doctors of children suffering from periodic fever, a clinical condition that causes regular bouts of fever in children that cannot be attributed to a viral or bacterial infection. It is an effective innovation that they hope can contribute to significant improvements in the treatment and research on the disease.

The project stems from their collaboration with their supervisors Dr. Anna Sigríðar Islind and Dr. Helena Vallo Hult. Anna Sigríður has worked with Swedish pediatricians who were involved in the study, and the app is now ready to be used in a large study in Sweden. The next step is to continue to design, develop and expand the project in collaboration with Anna Sigríður in their final project next semester.

Periodic fever is a clinical condition that causes periodic episodes of fever in children that cannot be attributed to a viral or bacterial infection. The children get a high fever along with swelling of the lymph nodes, pain in the joints, rashes, and sores in the mouth, along with possible other symptoms. The temperature is usually fairly regular, but pediatricians need a tool to keep track of data regarding the disease. Our project, therefore, included creating an app that parents of children with this disease can use to record the days of their children’s illness and all the symptoms they experience. This makes it easier for both the parents’ and the children’s doctors to manage the illness. The data is then stored in a database that we also designed in a way it can be used for research on the disease with a very wide data set. The project is carried out within a larger group that is interested in understanding what causes periodic fever, and the data collected will therefore be used for research in the long term.

The database will enhance data-driven research related to this clinical condition. Today both information and awareness of the condition are lacking. Árni Steinar and Þorsteinn hope that their software solution will improve the treatment of children suffering from the disease and empower research.