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Local physician's app could eliminate ER visit

The Hurt! app directly connects users with orthopedic specialists within minutes to evaluate the degree of a sports injury

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 9:54 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 9:58 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  -- Those who hurt themselves while working out or playing sports now have an option before making a potentially expensive trip to the emergency room.

St. Joseph sports medicine physician Dr. Brett Miller has developed a smartphone app called Hurt!, that directly connects users to trained specialists.

"The hurt response team includes athletic trainers, doctors, office staff," Miller said.

Chatting online through the app, the orthopedic physician on the other end will determine the seriousness of an injury and steps to take from there. 

"In four minutes, you're going to be in connection via messaging with an orthopedic physician or an athletic trainer or two. We're going to give you expert advice and how to manage the next several hours or days until we can get you in the office.

Miller said he created the app because of how crowded and time consuming ER rooms can be in addition to potentially being costly. Miller said 90 percent of emergency room visits due to sports injuries are not necessary.

"So far, we've kept everyone who has submitted an injury out of the ER, but there will be times that it's appropriate and we will guide you to do so."

Brooke Simpson is a nurse at Mosaic Life Care and also a satisfied Hurt! app user. Simpson says she has two accident-prone children, one of whom got her arm pulled out of place while playing at a local attraction. She said the process of using the app is easy and smooth.

"Essentially all I had to do was take a picture of our insurance cards when she hurt her arm," she said. "I was in the middle of Fun Run and she hurt her arm and I was able to fix it right there."

Miller says he knows that his creation is something nobody hopes they ever have to use, but it's there just in case.

'It's simple to use, keep it on your phone, I hope you never need us," he said.

The Hurt! app is available for both Apple and Android smartphones.

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