Stanford has been active in mobile development over the past year with patient study apps and also education apps. Their ResearchKit app, MyHeart, has enrolled more than 40,000 subjects already. They also have a great Child Heart Surgery app that lets families of children with congenital heart defects understand pediatric heart surgery using 3D animations.Stanford now has another pediatric app focused on patient education – Hydrocephalus Procedure app. The Hydrocephalus Procedure app aims to help users not only visually understand hydrocephalus and how it works, but also provide a closer look at one of their newest treatment medical procedures, endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).

The ETV treatment is notable because, unlike previous treatments, Stanford’s procedure does not require permanently implanted equipment also referred to as a shunt. This allows patients to not only lead a more normal life, but they also don’t have to return to the hospital as many times throughout their lifespan. Dr. Grant, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Stanford Children’s Health is our guide for this interactive learning lesson.

After a brief introduction, we are introduced to the three topics that will be covered in the pediatric app. The first section is titled healthy brain, the second topic is hydrocephalus, and the third and final section covers the actual surgical repair procedure.

For each section, Dr. Grants provides a detailed explanation. He highlights the central nervous system and what a healthy brain looks like and its importance in the body, we then move on to an in-depth overview of hydrocephalus. We learn what the disorder is, possible causes, the various types and the symptoms. He then gets into the surgical repair treatment ETV and details how it differs from previous treatments and why it is a better and safer alternative. Previous treatment options used shunts that can cause problems and generally have to be replaced several times throughout patients’ lifetimes.

For a pediatric app, Dr. Grants provides users with a lot of information. However what really adds a little something extra to this app is the fact that you can use your finger to rotate the diagrams. You get a chance to view the visuals at various angles. The Hydrocephalus Procedure app does a good job of describing each section and the images help to bring the ETV procedure to life. Dr. Grant does a good job of explaining what happens during the treatment process as well as why this particular treatment is recommended over others. The images also help you to see directly where surgeons will operate.

While the Hydrocephalus Procedure medical app is obviously a way for Stanford to tout its new surgical procedure — the medical app also does a great job of explaining a complex procedure to patients in an easy to understand manner.
Even if you have no interest in the actual surgical procedure, the Hydrocephalus Procedure medical app is worth downloading to see how a health organization can educate the general public on a new procedure in an innovative manner.

Hydrocephalus Procedure
By Stanford Children’s Health

Price: Free

iPhone, iPad: iTunes
Android: Unavailable