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New App Lets Doctors Communicate with Patients’ Families Waiting for Updates

The app lets the team of doctors provide real-time updates, making those long waiting room visits a little more bearable.

Undergoing surgery is not only a stressful event for patients but for families as well. A new app was developed to try to take away some of the uncertainty people feel when a loved one is having a procedure.

'EASE' allows doctors and nurses to provide live updates from the operating room to anyone the patient chooses. The hospital staff can send texts, photos, and video updates. Dr. Martin Martino of the Lehigh Valley Health Network said, "For some patients, you know, they come into the operating room and they're not sure if they're going to walk out, and their families may think that too. But when they get that communication, they know that they're doing well, their heart's beating, they're alive."

Elna Stratton was recently diagnosed with cancer of the uterus. Her son Jeb was able to monitor her progress during surgery on his smartphone. He received an alert when his mother was put under, a photo of the doctor starting surgery, updates throughout and a video when it was all over. Jeb said, "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."

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the first facility in North Carolina using the new app. 

More than 60 hospitals are now using the app, and many of Dr. Martino's patients at Lehigh Valley Hospital are choosing the technology. Loved ones and friends do not have to be inside the hospital to receive alerts and texts, they can be anywhere in the world. 'EASE' also has several security features in place to make sure sensitive medical information is protected.