When a recall gets issued for food, toys, consumer electronics or other consumer items, you'll often hear it announced on the nightly news. Sadly, there isn't the same degree of proactiveness among media outlets in getting the word out about medical device recalls. A smartphone app that has recently been released on the market may make it easier for consumers to become aware of device recalls though.
At least 30 Class I recalls of medical devices have been issued so far this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These devices are classified as such because they could seriously hurt patients or cause their deaths.
In 2018, some 750 different devices or 50 million patients were impacted by 32 total Class I recalls. Given that there are at least four-and-a-half months left in the year, the number of recalls in 2019 will likely exceed how many were issued in 2018. If this happens, more devices and patients will be affected. Regulators must have a way to let patients know if they have a dangerous medical device.
Soom, a Boston-based health care technology company, recently launched a smartphone app which works on Apple devices. Its SoomSafety app functions by uniting patients, both home care and health care providers and medical device manufacturers together. The app's creator says that he hopes that this app will unite those these individuals with divergent interests. He expects that this improved cross-communication will improve patient outcomes.
The app is integrated with both the device manufacturers' databases and the openFDA one. The patient needs only to input the device's barcode. Once they do that, the app will perform a search of the databases for any user instructions and safety alerts for it. If there are any recalls, they'll receive push notifications of such. The app will soon provide similar warnings for pharmaceutical drugs.
Many different dangerous medical devices and drugs get released on the market sooner than they should. Manufacturers don't test them enough to make sure that they're safe. They often don't find out that they pose serious harm to patients after they've become seriously ill, gotten injured or died.
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a dangerous product such as this, then a defective medical devices attorney can advise you of your right to file suit for damages in your case.