New App Alerts Patients of Medical Device Recalls in Real-Time


Patients and caregivers can now have crucial information regarding medical devices sent directly to their smartphone.

Patients, caregivers and medical teams can now get important Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts right at their fingertips — literally – thanks to a new smartphone app.

According to a press release from Soom, the company behind the app, the SoomSafety iOS mobile app alerts users of medical device recalls, and is the first of its kind.

“We built SoomSafety to help patients and caregivers relying on implanted medical devices and using medical devices at home to answer one critical question, ‘Is this medical device safe to use?’ said Charlie Kim, president and CEO of Soom, in a statement.

“Our technology makes it possible to connect previously siloed medical device data, giving patients — and their caregivers – more proactive control over their health and safety.”

App users can scan the barcode of the medical devices they use (or the barcode of the medical device identification card for implanted devices). The app then utilizes openFDA, open-source databases of FDA information, to report out any current FDA implications associated with the devices. If none exist, the app also stores the information, and will alert users of any future recalls or FDA actions associated with their devices.

Given the recent number of device recalls in 2019 alone, patients and providers have shown interest in the safety of medical devices — even when the FDA decides not to recall them, as was the case earlier this year with breast implants that may be linked to a rare lymphoma and other illnesses.

“This year alone, 26 medical device products have been recalled, affecting nearly 50 million individual devices in the United States,” said Kim, who developed the app after a medical device recall threatened his youngest daughter’s health.

“I’ve experienced first-hand what it feels like to wonder if a medical device that your loved one uses — relies on – is safe,” Kim said. “It’s a feeling that no patient, parent, or caregiver should have to endure. That’s why at Soom, we’re dedicated to finding new ways to use technology to ensure clarity and confidence in the medical devices we use.”

A version of this article originally appeared on Oncology Nursing News as App Alerts Patients and Providers of FDA Recalls on Medical Devices.

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