CHAMP: Doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital are using the cloud to help infants survive a dangerous congenital heart conditionExpand to read about Children’s Mercy Hospital
For prospective parents, news that an unborn child has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is truly devastating. Children who have this extremely rare congenital defect are essentially born with just half a heart—their survival requires at least two major surgeries six months apart. The period between the two operations is stressful and dangerous.
The infants require constant monitoring and typically, up to 25 percent of children born with HLHS die from complications before having the second surgery.
Now, instead of asking parents to keep detailed records of every aspect of their infant’s condition in a three-ring binder and provide a weekly update over the phone, doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, are using a cloud-based app called CHAMP to view constantly updated information on every child under their care. CHAMP, which stands for Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program, enables parents to use a tablet computer to enter key vital signs such as heart rate, weight, and oxygen saturation into the app throughout the day.
The information is automatically analyzed in the cloud as soon as it is entered, and Children’s Mercy doctors are notified if there are any signs of abnormality. Parents can also press the “I’m concerned” button in the app and immediately page a nurse.
So far, the care team at Children’s Mercy Hospital has used CHAMP with 78 patients. The results have been dramatic: parents are less stressed and overwhelmed, the ability to monitor young patients in real time and adjust treatment has reduced the number of costly hospital readmissions, and most important, not one baby with HLHS under the care of Children’s Mercy Hospital doctors has died since the hospital began using the CHAMP system.
As a result, hospitals around the country that treat infants with HLHS have expressed strong interest in using the CHAMP app for their patients. And the cardiac specialists and medical technologists at Children’s Mercy Hospital who developed the app are exploring how it can be adapted for patients with other heart conditions who require long-term home monitoring.