ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A new high-tech option is making surgery less stressful and allowing surgery teams easy access to stay in touch with families. Many hospitals have electronic updates displayed on a screen in the family waiting rooms.
A new app is now allowing hospital staff to send texts, photos and video updates to families when a loved one is in surgery.
As Elna Stratton is wheeled into surgery for uterine cancer at Lehigh Valley Hospital, her son Jeb is able to monitor her progress on his smartphone.
A new app called Ease allows doctors and nurses to provide live updates from the operating room to anyone the patient chooses.
“For some patients, they come into the operating room, not sure if they’re going to walk out and their family may think that too,” Dr. Martin Martino said. “But when they get that communication, they know that they’re doing well, their hearts beating, they’re alive.”
As Jeb stood by, he received an alert when his mother was put under, a photo of the doctor starting the robotic surgery and updates throughout. Once the surgery was over, he received a video.
“Surgery went well. Why don’t you head to the waiting room to talk about how it went,” Martino said in the video.
More than 60 hospitals are now using the app with a growing number of patients choosing the technology.
“It was helpful to get those updates throughout the day and also to know that my sister and other people that my mom chose to inform were getting that as well,” Jeb said.
The app gives some peace of mind during a time that is often filled with worry.
Loved ones and friends do not have to be inside the hospital to receive alerts and texts — they can be anywhere in the world.
The app also has several security features in place to make sure sensitive medical information is protected.