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Chandler Regional Creates App For Premature Baby Parents

While my son fortunately didn’t have to spend anytime in the NICU when he was born, 10-15 percent of babies aren’t so lucky. Chandler Regional Hospital recently released an incredible app to help parents of pre-mature babies. Seriously, it’s pretty cool.  I started out including this in my recent post about apps for parents, but I felt like it needed a better review.

Guide for New Parents was developed mainly for NICU parents, but any parent can find use in it. Portions of it are aimed specifically at people who have children in the NICU at Chandler Regional Hospital. This portion has tours of the NICU and other educational videos.

There are five other main sections, which can be used by any new parent. Here’s a little bit of information on each of them.

Track My Baby

There are a lot of apps and websites out there to help track development, but this one is unique in the sense that you can follow development according to an infant’s gestational age. Premature infants reach milestones according to an adjusted age, not necessarily their actual age.  Weight, length, and head circumference can be tracked, and they are plotted on a graph next to percentiles. It also provides ideas for parents on a variety of topics, such as bonding.

I like that you can plot growth information and see it compared to percentiles. This could be really helpful in tracking an infant’s growth from home and identifying any abnormalities, because sometime a doctor may overlook something, or if another doctor needs to see information. My son had rapid head growth early in life, and recently we were referred to a pediatric neurologist. Because this doctor and my son’s pediatrician didn’t have the same system, he was unable to pull up any information, even though he said it would have been nice to be able to see the graphs. Having something like this would have been helpful at that time.

Feeding My Baby

One concern I hear over and over again from new parent is, is my baby eating enough? And honestly, it can be hard to know, if you don’t know what signs to look for. This section contains tons of information on feeding, focusing mostly on breastfeeding, and providing links to information about it. It talks about common challenges that arise, but also has information on formula feeding, for parents who choose that route.

There is a neat log to help track feedings. It includes a timer that a parent can start when a feeding begins, and end at the conclusion. The information automatically gets added in to the log. I remember at the first few doctor’s appointments of my son’s life, I was always being asked “how much has he eaten, how often, and for how long,” and in my sleep deprived state…I never could tell them. It also would have been helpful when I had to keep careful track of how long and often my son was eating when he was in the hospital. It would have been way easier than having to look at the clock and then write on a white board the numbers (which was so hard in the middle of the night!)

Spiritual Care

Now, I know not everyone is religious, so this may not be relevant for some. I’ve really never seen a feature like this before, and being a religious person myself, I appreciated it being included. However, as I’ve read reviews about it, it wasn’t the most helpful place. It mainly just included quotes and inspirational thoughts, that aren’t necessarily tailored toward a parent’s situation. I think this could be improved by having different sections of quotes, letting parents select what type of belief system they come from, and have thoughts tailored toward that, and even having the option for just uplifting, not necessarily religious messages.

Follow-up Care and Find my Hospital

These last two sections will really just be helpful for people being treated at Chandler Regional. The follow-up care lets parents search for doctors in the area who may be of use to them, and the find my hospital section just gives basic information about the hospital.

Overall, I think this is a really cool app, especially for those who had a premature infant. There are a lot of features that I really like, but also room for improvement. Some of the complaints I”ve seen is that there really aren’t a lot of videos, and it doesn’t have a section about problem that might arise with a child, and how to resolve them. I think that would be a particularly important thing, especially for parent’s of premature infants, where health problems are probably more likely to arise.

This app is free, and available for iOS devices.

November 8, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Five Medical Apps Every Parent Should Have

Some of my favorite apps that I’ve used were designed for pregnant women (check out some great pregnancy apps I reviewed awhile back.) However, now that I’ve moved onto the next stage – you know, parenthood – I’ve found myself wanting to find some apps that educate and help parents take control of their child’s health. So tonight, I went on a search for some of those apps. Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding some, but I think the ones I found were worth the search. Whether you are a brand new mom or dad, or a seasoned parent of six, I think any parent (or even grandparent or caregiver) will appreciate these.

1) WebMD Baby: Obviously, I’m a big fan of WebMD and their mobile products. So I was a little surprised when I realized I didn’t have WebMD Baby on my phone. The app boasts that it “is like having a pediatrician in your pocket.” And who doesn’t want that? It has tons of information, articles, and videos to help a parent get through those first two years, and what a parent sees is specifically geared toward the age of their child. Beyond medical information and advice, there is a “baby book,” where parents can record when a child hits certain milestones.  Some of the key features are tools for height and weight measurements, sleep timer, check-up schedule, and weekly guides. If you download just one app, this would be the one I would consider. It’s kind of an all-around guide to raising a healthy baby. The app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.

2) Sleep Champ AppI don’t know many parents who haven’t had issues with their child sleeping at some point or another. For my husband and me, we’re living through that stage right now. But what if there is some underlying issue, beyond just wanting to be near mommy and daddy? Sleep Champ was developed for parents and pediatricians, to help identify sleep problems in children, as well as offer suggestions for things like bed wetting. This app helps determine a child’s sleep quality. It asks simple yes-or-no questions and a score is generated. It isn’t meant to diagnose children, but perhaps give parents an indication if something needs to be investigated. The app does cost $3.99 for both Android and iOS devices.

3) KidsDocWhile the WebMD app can help identify illnesses, Kids Doc was created specifically for it. This app was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and feature on their website, HealthyChildren.org. Illnesses are identified in three easy steps — selecting the most significant symptom (out of 99 choices), view the symptom decision chart to decide on a course of action, and then follow suggestions from a self-care guide to help a child feel better (even if it’s just to help until they can see a medical professional.) It also has dosage information for different medications, images to help identify visible symptoms, and the ability to call a doctor, hospital, or 911 with the click of a button. I personally love this app, and think it’s a great one for any parent or caregiver to have. It costs $1.99 and is available for both Android and iOS devices, but some features can be accessed from the HealthyChildren.org website.

4) iHomeopathy: For parents who choose a more natural way to treat their children’s illnesses, iHomeopathy is a great app. It helps find correct natural homepathic medications and dosages for tons of different situations (medical and first aid), can identify early signs of serious medical issues, and gives the location of pharmacies and grocery stores that sell the medications. It doesn’t need to be connected to WiFi or a data network to work, which is great for emergency situations. The description of the app says that it quickly help the user find information, without having to sort through tons of different conditions and symptoms. It has been featured on many different best app lists, including Parent’s Magazine’s “Best iPhone Apps for Parents” and Today’s Parent Magazines “21 Apps for Parents.” I tried to access the website for iHomeopathy, but it seems to not exist anymore. I don’t  It is only available for the iPhone and iPad, and costs $1.99.

5) iEmergency ICE Family PROThis app is basically a digital emergency ID card. While I would recommend still having emergency info on a hard copy somewhere (you know, for those times when the phone is dead), I think it is smart to have this information on a phone, ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice. All information that might be needed for an emergency situation (allergies, medications, insurance id #, PCP, preferred hospital, blood type, etc.) is stored on one page. Each family member can have their own section, complete with personalized information and their photo. A medical ID can actually be printed with all the information via the website for iEmergency. It is only available for iOS devices, and it is $2.99. If your child has an iTouch, this might be a great app to download on there, for those times when you aren’t around.

November 2, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.