Duke Health System, Boston Children’s Hospital unveil pediatric app that gives parents more control

iPhone
A new iPhone app allows parents to share their child's medical history with specialists and emergency providers.

A new app developed by two healthcare systems will allow parents of children with complex medical needs to easily share medical information with new providers.

Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke Health System used Apple’s CareKit framework to build Caremap, a free iPhone app that securely stores medical information and tracks specific metrics like mood, sleep, exercise and pain, according to an announcement.

Perhaps even more importantly, the app allows parents to provide information to clinicians that aren’t familiar with their child’s medical history by emailing them PDFs or viewing information directly on their phone. This often occurs among children with complex illnesses that make frequent trips to specialists or require emergency care outside of their hometown.

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Pediatric specialists highlighted the value of providing that information and giving parents more control of their child’s health information.

“Effectively managing communication between numerous providers who care for a child with medical complexity can be a full-time job for parents,” Caremap clinical advisor David Y. Ming, M.D., director of Duke Children's Complex Care Service and a hospitalist at Duke University Medical Center said in the release. “So much effort is required to keep track of the details that often the 'bigger picture' perspective can get overlooked.”  

Mobile healthcare apps have generated a lot of attention recently, both good and bad. Last year, healthcare systems across the country launched homegrown apps aimed at monitoring vital signs, improving data sharing and providing telehealth services.

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But many mHealth apps have also struggled with user engagement, and unreliable data has left physicians on the fence about how to integrate mobile apps into clinical care.