Pediatric surgeons using app to keep parents calm during surgery

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ORLANDO, Fla. – When your child is in the hospital, parents are always worried.

However, doctors at one Florida hospital decided to use technology to keep parents’ nerves calm.

Surgeons at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando are using a secure app to send photos and text updates to parents during their children’s operation.

Calvin, 8, had rods inserted into his back to help correct scoliosis.

His mother, Emily, said she was initially nervous about what the texts would show.

She says her fears melted away as soon as she saw exactly what was going on inside the operation room.

“It put me at ease knowing that the surgery was going to be about three hours long, I wouldn’t have to wait three hours to get any status,” said Emily Barr.

The texts are sent through a secure site that doctors say is compliant with HIPAA regulations.

The photos self-destruct in less than a minute, although parents can take screen shots and save them for personal use.

“It’s really made a huge difference in the way we communicate during the surgery, which is a very stressful time for the relatives of people undergoing surgical procedures,” Jonathan Phillips, M.D., at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

The app is called “EASE,” which stands for Electronic Access to Surgical Events.

It is free for parents.