"Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™" app available now on iTunes and in the Apple App Store

Minneapolis – (April 22, 2013) – Seeing the need for a supplemental resource to help manage and alleviate pain in pediatric patients both inside and outside the hospital, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Ridgeview Medical Center, and pediatric non-profit development organization DesignWise Medical have collaborated to create the Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ mobile app. The app is available for download now for $4.99 on iTunes and in the Apple App Store. More information on the app is also available at www.healingbuddiescomfort.org.

“As a physician who treats kids with both procedural and chronic pain, I know this app will make a difference in their recovery and overall well being,” said Timothy P. Culbert, MD, FAAP, Ridgeview Specialty Clinic-Pediatric Integrative Medicine. “I am excited to begin recommending the app to both my patients and other physicians.”

The Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ is an easy-to-use app that applies several integrative medicine techniques adapted for kids that are quick and effective for symptom control. By combining kid-friendly activities and exercises that teach self-care skills, the app offers an interactive, virtual way to learn how to manage common symptoms like pain, worries, nausea, fatigue and trouble sleeping.

“Relieving the pain and suffering of a child is crucial for the patient and the entire family,” said Jeff Weness, senior director of corporate development at Children’s. “Children’s of Minnesota has one of the largest and longest-running pediatric pain, palliative care and integrative medicine programs in North America, and the use of this app will help children both with pain they experience in the hospital and after they go home.”

The app includes the following techniques to teach kids how to manage their symptoms:

Mental imagery/visualization teaches kids to use the power of their imagination to create changes in physical and emotional activity.

Relaxation exercises are breathing and muscle control techniques that help kids learn to calm down and balance their body and nervous system. These exercises help to reduce symptoms of pain and nausea, improve sleep and have a powerful affect on controlling and even eliminating worries.

Acupressure is part of the ancient Chinese medical system and involves applying pressure to “special points” on the body. This in turn releases helpful chemicals and induces nervous system changes that can help to reduce pain, nausea, and anxiety.

Aromatherapy has been in existence in most cultures for thousands of years, and involves the use of essential oils. By smelling certain kinds of scented oils, kids have another method to control unwanted symptoms or feelings.

Positive self-talk involves learning to be a “self-coach” and harnesses the power of positive thinking.

The Healing Buddies Comfort KitTM app is another way that Children’s of Minnesota is championing technology to improve the healing journey of patients, like having Geek Squad® precincts at both its hospital campuses and filling private patient rooms with the latest technology for kids and families to stay connected to the outside world during their hospital stay.

About Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:
Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 381 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 300,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year. Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children. Please visit childrensMN.org.

About Ridgeview Medical Center
Ridgeview Medical Center is an independent, regional health care network serving the west-metro area. Its award-winning network includes the Waconia-based acute care hospital, numerous primary and specialty care clinics—including Ridgeview Specialty Clinic-Pediatric Integrative Medicine, emergency services, specialty programs and the Two Twelve Medical Center in Chaska. For more information about Ridgeview Medical Center and its clinics, visit www.ridgeviewmedical.org.

About DesignWise Medical:
DesignWise Medical is a unique, volunteer-based, nonprofit pediatric medical device organization that develops device-based solutions to children’s unmet medical needs. With its partners – pediatric clinicians, parents, sponsors, volunteers, students and technology companies – DesignWise Medical identifies, develops and delivers collaborative solutions to an underserved population. The company is leveraging its unique business model to change the dynamics of the children’s medical device landscape by developing pediatric medical devices at a fraction of the cost of traditional product development. For more information, visit: http://www.designwisemedical.org/.