VADKids is a communication and education app for children and families that use ventricular assist devices (VAD).

Project Overview

Sending children home with a ventricular assist device, an electrically-powered heart pump, is still a rare occurrence as less than 50% of all patients are discharged. For those that are able to be safely discharged and return home, it is important that the family maintains close contact with the care team remotely. That is where the VADKids app can help.

VADKids is a home-monitoring app, built in partnership with the VAD team at Boston Children’s Hospital. It allows patients to track vital signs, access VAD emergency information and communicate with the clinical team. Patients can log and securely send their VAD data, along with text and pictures to the VAD team, who can send secure messages back to the patient. The VAD team is sent an email notification for any out-of-range measurements. Patients can choose to include their parents in these communications as well, keeping the family on the same page, and all information is recorded in the electronic medical record (EMR).

By increasing the support available for patients and families using VADs, VADKids creates real-world evidence for the safety, usability, and effectiveness of the ventricular assist devices in children.

Healthcare Context

Problems with VADs can be life-threatening so patients and families require extensive training at the bedside prior to discharge. Despite the training they undergo during their hospital stay, managing the device on their own can still be a daunting task for many patients and families. The VADKids app arms families with the information that they need in order to be more comfortable with the device outside of the hospital.

Currently, tracking of VAD information is done via log files and journals which can be tedious and burdensome for staff. Communication with families is conducted through calls and text messages which are not secure. VADKids provides a more secure and efficient method of tracking and communication than traditional methods.


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