Novel app development improves experience of sick children
The development of world-first intravenous (IV) “Passport” for children with complex health conditions is revolutionising the management of IV devices in Queensland.
Children’s Health Queensland and Menzies Health Institute Queensland Adjunct Professor Amanda Ullman was supported by the Children’s Hospital Foundation to lead the team in the development of the Passport.
“One of the first procedures that children undergo when they are unwell is the insertion of an IV device, invasive hollow tubes that allow administration of medications and fluids into the bloodstream. For children with children with complex and chronic health conditions, such as cancer or cystic fibrosis, these IV devices can remain in place for years.” Dr Ullman said.
“Parents and primary caregivers are the central figure in managing these long-term health conditions, including their child’s IV. They have asked us for consistent resources to plan their child’s IV needs, now and in the future.”
To help navigate this, a team of clinicians, researchers and app developers (Griffith University’s App Factory) have partnered with parents and children to create an mHealth application, known as the IV Passport. Within the app, families can document current, historical and future IVs, as well as link to accurate resources for problem-solving common issues they may face at home or in hospital.
The IV Passport is being tested by children and families at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, and is now available across Android and iOS devices.
Associate Professor Craig McBride, a paediatric surgeon at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, has been a key partner in the development of the IV Passport.
“Some children have dozens of complex IVs before they reach school age. Providing a resource so both families and clinicians can accurately plan, document, and manage these vascular access devices across multiple sites and throughout the child’s life has to be better for safety, as well as satisfaction.” Dr McBride said.
“It shifts the balance of power and means families can be more engaged in vascular access decisions for their child.”
Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, said the Foundation was incredibly proud to fund research that will have a resounding impact on so many sick kids and their families.
“We are committed to helping child health researchers, just like Dr Ullman, discover new and improved ways to significantly improve children’s health outcomes,” Ms Simpson said.
“This project, and the resulting IV Passport, is a tangible example of how research outcomes can change the hospital experience for sick and injured children right across the state, helping them to get better and go home sooner.”