New mobile app helps identify child abuse
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new app could prevent some instances of child abuse through prediction.
The app is called the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Child Injury Plausibility Assessment Support Tool, or LCAST.
The app works to save children’s lives and keep families together by helping identify potential abuse in children.
Nurses, doctors, pediatricians, social workers, or anyone that works with children are encouraged to download the app. The app does not diagnose abuse and instead is a screening tool that can help you understand your own patients or clients.
Dr. Mary Clyde Pierce, and Louisville based company Slingshot developed the healthcare app.
”My goal is to actually get this into the hands of people where those misses are being made, and then to decrease how often we miss abuse just because we don’t know how to interpret the injuries that are before us,” Pierce said.
The app asks a series of questions about the child and features a 3-D diagram showing area’s of bruising that can be highly predictive of abuse.
Creators said it can also alleviate suspicion by presenting clinicians with data.
”I actually know some people from a family that had their child taken away from them wrongly, and it’s because the symptoms of this kid were misdiagnosed,” Slingshot CEO David Galownia said. “They thought, man this kid is being abused.”
“Unlike other types of injury, when child abuse is missed, that child is returned to that same environment so there is a real high likelihood they are going to re-injured and unfortunately some of those children end up being killed,” Pierce said. “And so this just got to me, and I felt like we needed to do something to help to help people have better evidence to diagnose abuse earlier.”
At the end, the app tells you if the child’s injuries are likely due to abuse or accident and presents you with the evidence to back it up.
Across the United States, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds, according to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services.
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