SurgAware: Enhancing Informed Consent via iPhone

Martin Young, an ENT surgeon from South Africa, informed me about SurgAware, a new iPhone application that was meant to enhance informed consent. Unfortunately, the app is not for free, but details below.

We at SurgAware know that deciding to have an operation can be difficult. Whenever possible, a patient needs to know all the details – the reason for the operation, the alternatives to surgery, the consequences of not having the operation, and all the things that can potentially go wrong.

SurgAware puts all those risks into writing, in a format that can be emailed to anyone who needs to know. If you are a patient, you can either email the list to your doctor for discussion at your next appointment, or check to see that all topics have been covered. If you are a doctor or a nurse, you can use the list as a reference during the process of taking consent, email your patient, copy the email to yourself, and then have evidence of having disclosed the information.

A “Comment” function allows you, doctor or patient, to send a comment on the information in the application back to us, the producers, so that there is continual feedback on the content and general consensus on what needs to be included in the discussion.