Belfast is at the heart of innovation in the health sector with the launch today of the world’s first App for teenagers with Congenital Heart Disease transitioning from children’s to adult care,alongside a new research book on the treatment of the disease.
Supported by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, the launch sees the publication of Congenital Heart Disease and Neurodevelopment, edited by Professor Christopher McCusker and Dr Frank Casey, from the Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The book is based on innovative research with children across Northern Ireland with congenital heart disease, where clinicians look at the development of the child as a whole, particularly neurodevelopmental, rather than simply focusing on treatment of the heart. The findings have shown that this approach benefits the development of the child. The techniques developed and refined are considered to be leading the field in the care of children with CHD and are now being used across Europe.
The development of innovation locally goes much further, as the worlds first ever dedicated App for teenagers with CHD has been launched. The app, CHD Transition NI, which was funded by the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, and developed by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, helps teenagers as they transition from paediatric to adult care. By using the app they can manage their medication, find out more about their condition and keep in contact with their doctors and medical team, encouraging ownership and understanding of their own health needs.
You can now download the App for free at ‘CHD Transition NI’ through itunes or android stores.
Speaking at the launch, Sarah Quinlan, Chief Executive, Children’s Heartbeat Trust: “Launching not just one, but two examples of innovation in health from Northern Ireland is exciting for all families living with CHD. While Professor McCusker and Dr Casey’s book shows how our clinicians have worked to develop the best possible care for children with CHD, the App shows the practical steps that are being taken to help teenagers learn to cope with their condition.
“The care heart kids receive in the Clark Clinic in partnership with other healthcare professionals has always been first class, and ‘Congenital Heart Disease and Neurodevelopment’ will see their work used as a template for care all over the world.”
“To launch the first ever App dedicated to the care and needs of teenagers with CHD is a huge step. We are delighted that the Belfast Trust have seen the value in embracing the development of technology to help deliver the message and care for these teens and we are seeing Belfast emerging as leader in the development of care and health management though technology.”
“The Children’s Heartbeat Trust is delighted that Belfast and Northern Ireland are taking the lead in the treatment and care of CHD, and we hope that this can continue with the development of Belfast as a centre of excellence through a new children’s heart centre.”
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