New app lets surgeons update patients families during surgery

February 27, 2013 1:52:43 PM PST
If you have ever sat in a hospital waiting room you know how stressful that time can be.

Now there is new technology to make that wait time less anxious for worried family and friends.

It's 9 am and Rob Veltri is in the waiting room at St. Johns Riverside Hospital. His wife Anna is having surgery and he's getting text messages from her surgeon.

"This one says the procedures expected to be about an hour," he says.

The technology is called MD-Connect-Me where surgeons can text or email family and friends while they're loved one is in the operating room

Dr. Andrew Salzberg has been using the technology for about 6 months.

"Patient's families are less anxious about the surgical procedure, they would know during and after the procedure what's happening," said Dr. Salzberg.

Throughout the process, surgeons can select a message that says things like "Anna's procedure is going well and as planned" or Anna is resting and requests no visitors at this time.

If something goes wrong there's a message option for you to contact the doctor immediately. Before her surgery Anna said she chose to have updates sent to her kids and family who live all over the country.

"Everyone's anxious worrying when you're back here and its good that they have updates," said Anna Veltri.

One concern with the technology is privacy. You may have heard of the Hipaa law. If a doctor gives out too much information about your health or to the wrong people, they can get in trouble for it.

The CEO of the MD-Connect-Me APP says that's one reason they only allow pre-set messages.

"We're not getting into the patients diagnostic or treatment criteria we're really addressing where's the patient now , when did they go in, how are they doing," said Scott Anzel.

And when you sign up for the service, you agree to have the messages sent to those friends and family members.

Rob says it makes the waiting less painful

"You're always looking at the clock time seems like it doesn't move//30.06 this keeps you updated gives you a little relaxation a little peace of mind," adds Veltri.

For now the app is free for doctors and patients but the company is working to try and get the program into more hospitals and eventually hospitals will have to pay to market or use the technology.


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