EASE-An App to Ease Family Anxiety During Surgery

A HIPAA-compliant app developed by doctors at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, helps quell the anxiety of family members as their children undergo surgery.

Just as one nurse gently placed a mask on 8-year-old Calvin Barr to administer anesthesia before his spinal surgery recently, another quietly stepped to the foot of the bed and snapped a photo of him with a smartphone. Calvin playfully squinted at the nurse with the phone and through the clear blue mask you could see a faint smile.

A few seconds later in a waiting room down the hall, Emily Barr’s smartphone chimed, indicating she’d received a text message. It was the photo the nurse had just taken of her son Calvin. After seeing it, Emily smiled herself.

Over the next 3 hours at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida, Emily and her husband Calvin Barr, Sr, would receive a half dozen more texts. Some were just a sentence or 2 updating Calvin’s status, others contained photos or videos explaining exactly what doctors were doing during different phases of his surgery.

“I admit I wasn’t sure about the idea at first,” said Mrs Barr, “but being able to get that information has been very good. We could see what was going on and constantly knew his status and that’s been very reassuring to us,” she said.

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