PalmIT is an innovative new way to collect HIV counseling and testing data that was started in San Francisco in 2006 through a collaboration between SFDPH AIDS Office and UCSF CAPS. Shelley Facente (UCSF/SFDPH), Nicolas Sheon (UCSF), Dale Gluth (Magnet), and Marise Rodriguez (SFDPH) were its founders and originators. The current PalmIT Program Coordinator is Noah Carraher.
The PalmIT system is a client-centered data system that allows HIV testers to privately enter their own HIV risk assessment data into a computer or handheld PDA.
The system is comprised of a series of connected computer surveys that were created with Questionnaire Development Software (QDS) to facilitate paperless data collection during HIV counseling and testing sessions. All phases of the test session from the client self assessment to the HIV test and associated lab slips are input into the system. QDS encrypts the data as it is collected so that later on the data can be securely uploaded to the SFDPH.
After an initial pilot period at Magnet, a gay men’s health center in the Castro district of San Francisco, the PalmIT network expanded in 2007 to include two of the San Francisco County jails where the Forensic AIDS Project provides HIV counseling and testing. In 2008, the VOICE study, a Gilead funded study to test opt-in HIV testing in two other San Francisco County jails, also became part of the PalmIT network. Currently, Magnet and AIDS Health Project both use the PalmIt system.