Medical device recalls aren’t very uncommon, and the consequences can be severe. According to the FDA, there have been more than 25 medical device recalls so far this year.
Boston-based startup Soom has now launched SoomSafety, an iOS mobile app that provides patients, nurses, and caregivers medical device recall information directly from the device manufacturer and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Soom is a pioneer in using barcode and knowledge graph technologies to bridge information gaps between data sources and physical products.
“We built SoomSafety to help patients and caregivers relying on implanted medical devices and using medical devices at home answer one critical question, ‘Is this medical device safe to use?’” said Charlie Kim, President and CEO of Soom. “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.”
According to Kim, many patients are never informed of device recalls due to incomplete information in the medical device supply chain. Soom is empowering patients and caregivers to proactively manage their medical devices for improved patient outcomes and peace of mind, the company said in a press release.
SoomSafety is the first app to utilize openFDA, open-source databases that enable developers to quickly and easily use FDA data in applications.
SoomSafety users scan the barcode on a medical device, such as an insulin pump, nebulizer or apnea monitor, to automatically identify the device and store it in the app. The app also identifies and stores implanted medical devices like artificial joints, pacemakers and heart valves by scanning the barcode on a patient’s medical device identification card. If a user’s product has been recalled the system is able to give them resources on what to do next.
The idea for SoomSafety was prompted by Kim’s personal experience with a medical device recall that threatened the life of his youngest daughter.
“I’ve experienced first-hand what it feels like to wonder if a medical device that your loved one uses—relies on—is safe,” said Kim. “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.”
SoomSafety is available now for free in the Apple App Store.