New app helps parents keep track of kids going through surgery

HOUSTON – Texas Children's Hospital just started using an app called EASE at all of their campuses for hours-long surgeries.

The app works like Snapchat -- about every half-hour, a parent gets a message with an update about their kid's surgery, and the message disappears after it is read.

Pierre Denha, 16, was at Texas Children's for a minor procedure but his mother, Rula Barbirian, still worried.

“It’s minor surgery, but it's still anesthesia,” Barbirian said.

That’s why she chose to download the app. On EASE, the hospital promises a nurse will send updates throughout surgery.

To ensure the patient's privacy, only a barcode assigned to the patient can be scanned to download the app. Then the family can link the app with people outside of the hospital.

“At least you know exactly where he is and the steps, and you'll be able to follow up, not just sitting here nervous and imagining what's going on,” Barbirian said.

The disappearing messages are for security reasons, said Dr. Larry Hollier, surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's.