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Post-hospital care – there’s an app for that

The winner of the Spark Centre's Ignite Competition, Dash MD is a smartphone app that assists patients recently released from hospital keep track of their medication, make appointments with their doctor and access resources for community care.

The winner of the Spark Centre’s Ignite Competition, Dash MD is a smartphone app that assists patients recently released from hospital keep track of their medication, make appointments with their doctor and access resources for community care.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

When a simple, yet unfortunate, set of circumstances led to Zack Fisch almost losing his leg, he decided to do something about it.

It was a game of ultimate frisbee and Fisch, jumping to catch the disc against a much taller opponent, came down awkwardly, snapping both bones in one of his legs. He was rushed to the hospital where he was treated and a cast was put on. It was only after he was released that things started to go wrong as the nurse quickly explained the process for taking care of his leg after the injury.

“I was stressed, I was tired, I was just coming off of morphine, I didn’t really take any of that in,” he says.

The complications and infections that followed nearly led Fisch to having his leg amputated. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that.

“This was a needless situation, a complication developed that didn’t have to develop,” he says. “It makes (patients) feel as though, sometimes, they’re just thrown out into the wilderness, and they needlessly fall through the cracks, which impacts the quality of care patients receive. It impacts unnecessary re-visits, it impacts unnecessary readmissions, and this is a big problem.”

Now, Fisch has helped start a smartphone app that looks to help those patients and make sure what happened to him doesn’t happen again.

“It happens every single day to people across the board. So we’re building something that will not only catch patients who fall through the cracks, but propel them toward a successful recovery journey,” he says.

That something is Dash MD, an app that is set to manage the way patients manage their care after they leave the hospital and the watchful eyes of the professionals.

The app is a one-stop shop for everything a patient needs for their aftercare and can be tweaked to individual needs with medication schedules, resources for community care and slotting in doctor visits. Hospitals can also use the app in synch with patients to ensure they are getting the proper care when they leave the building.

The app can also be used by caregivers to manage the care of children or senior citizens who may not be able to use the app themselves.

“It’s really a Swiss army knife of tools that help patients mange their recovery,” Fisch says.

Available on iOS and Android devices, the app has gone live in its first hospital in Markham, and the start-up is looking to expand to 16 new hospitals in Ontario and across the country in the coming year. That objective will be made easier after the group was awarded $25,000 after winning the Spark Centre’s Ignite Competition.

“It’s a huge honour,” Fisch says.

“It’s really meaningful for me, the team, and we’re just really incredibly proud that the faith has been put in us to execute.”

The Ignite Competition also awards recipients with entry into the Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator program to help grow their business, as well as free space in the its head office at The Loft in downtown Oshawa.