Using a mobile app reduced in-person prenatal care visits while maintaining patient and provider satisfaction. The Babyscripts app was built to deliver educational content and remotely monitor blood pressure and weight. The app gave patients information on topics like nutrition and breastfeeding, but also gave patients and providers early warnings about hypertension or abnormal weight gain, which could indicate gestational diabetes, nutritional deficiency, or edema associated with preeclampsia.

Mobile health apps could be just as transformative for prenatal care. (Credit: BabyScripts app)

Eligible participants were women between ages 18 and 40 years and considered low-risk — a singleton pregnancy with no previous diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, renal disease, collagen vascular disease, maternal substance abuse, or other previously documented condition that could potentially lead to a poor pregnancy outcome. A total of 88 low-risk patients were enrolled in the study. Patients who used the app saw their OB-GYN an average of 7.8 times. Patients who did not use the app saw their OB-GYN an average of 10.2 times. There was no statistical difference in patient or provider satisfaction in either group.

While the results of the study were largely positive, more research is needed to determine the connection between mobile prenatal apps and maternal or fetal outcomes.

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