Children’s Health Joins Push to Expand Kids’ Health Care Apps

Dave Moore, Staff Writer

Though children comprise about 15 percent of all medical patients, a disproportionately high number of health care apps are geared toward adults. Yet, adult-oriented health care apps seldom work for children.

For example, adult asthma management apps don’t translate well for use by children and for their specific needs; they don’t contain tips for babysitters about what might trigger a child’s asthma attack, or a custom action plan that will help the sitter defuse an attack.

To address this need, Dallas-based Children’s Health developed its own pediatric app.

Other pediatric hospitals have followed suit to address other health conditions, addressing their needs in piecemeal — but not a strategic — fashion.

To resolve that issue, in late 2019, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles approached its Dallas counterpart to create a consortium of pediatric health care innovators to combine the know-how of startups with the knowledge of hospital IT departments.

“This accelerator is the first of its kind — it’s the first international initiative with a pediatric focus,” said Micky Fokken, Director of the Care Delivery Innovation Lab at Children’s Health.

The consortium, KidsX, is inviting startups and innovators from across the nation to apply to collaborate with the 56 hospitals that comprise the group. The deadline for applications from startups/developers is Oct. 7. Ten successful applicants will be selected before Nov. 26 to then collaborate with pediatric hospitals.

KidsX hospitals have identified eight areas that pediatric hospitals have found to be recurring issues with patient management, that might be solved through innovation:

      • Remote patient monitoring;
      • Care coordination between parents, providers, and schools;
      • Appointment coordination for complex care;
      • Care transition from pediatric to adult health care;
      • Virtual rehab for kids through gamification;
      • Pediatric mental wellness in mobile apps;
      • Preparing families before surgery to reduce anxiety and cancellations; and
      • Predictive analytics for adverse clinical outcomes.

“They are looking for companies that are early stage, versus large corporations,” Fokken said. “The goal is to try to help the startup community nationwide. That being said, if there is a company that already has an adult product and they want to create a pediatric version, that would be acceptable as well.”

An earlier iteration of this story appeared in Dallas Innovates.