Dr. Iltifat Husain’s physician take is at the end of this article
The Endoscopic Stent Tracker app was created by Visible Health systems in partnership with Boston Scientific to help keep track of, and manage, Gastrointestinal stents. Currently, the medical app is designed to track AXIOS stents and is available in the App Store for free.
A primary feature of the the Endoscopic Stent Tracker is the ability to track patients. The app allows the doctor to input various patient information including name, date of birth, and case history. Some of the case history information includes items such as when a stent was inserted and when it needs to be removed. The condition being treated is also part of a patient’s profile.
The medical app maintains a list of patients a doctor can view on a separate screen. Clicking on the patient’s name takes the user to another screen where they can view patient and stent details.
Stent information can be input into the app by scanning the stent’s barcode with the app’s integrated barcode reader. This is one of many features that helps make stent management much easier. Currently, the barcode feature is only available for AXIOS stents made by Boston Scientific. Patient and stent information is safeguarded in a way to be HIPAA compliant.
Besides helping doctors, Visible Health also maintains a website portal to help office staff.
One major issue with endoscopic procedures using stents is the incidence of “forgotten stents”. Sometimes patients miss appointments and stents are not removed in time which could sometimes lead to fatalities. Since the app provides the ability to enter a removal date, the doctor can access active cases and have the staff follow up with a patient if the date is coming soon.
Besides helping doctors and staff facilitate a high quality of care, the app’s inputs can also be used to help with clinical research and reports.
Stents are a great device to reduce obstructions especially for GI procedures involving the pancreas. However, if left too long they can cause major issues. Fortunately, the Endscopic Stent Tracker app on the iPhone provides an easy-to-use interface to input stent data through a barcode scan (if using AXIOS stents) and associate it with patients in a HIPAA compliant manner.
Dr. Iltifat Husain’s take:
Boston Scientific is a pioneer of sorts in creating associated medical apps with devices to provide a virtual electronic medical record for patients. They also have a similar Urology stent tracking management system as well. Other companies, such as Medtronic, are innovating in the mobile space as well. Medtronic recently launched a virtual reality Google Cardboard app for their stents, but Boston Scientific is the only one actually creating robust virtual patient management systems for their devices that practices can easily use. Just as pharmaceutical companies are starting to launch apps alongside their drugs, I expect to see more medical device companies doing the same with their hardware.