Here's How Babyscripts Is Transforming Prenatal Care
Having a baby is a stressful time for soon-to-be parents and involves numerous trips to healthcare providers to monitor the ongoing condition of both child and mother.
The number and frequency of these visits can add to the already significant stress parents feel during this time. With all the preparations necessary for the arrival of a newborn baby, anything which can be done to reduce the number of trips parents must make to the doctor is likely to be welcomed. Naturally, in 2019, digital technology providers are working to develop solutions which can help with this problem.
One such innovative startup - Babyscripts - has thrown its own hat into the ring with a new smartphone app designed to support parents and healthcare providers during prenatal care and improve the patient experience for expectant mothers.
Due to the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, mobile apps have the potential to transform several health-related outcomes. There has been a plethora of research into the ways smartphone technology can improve patients' ability to manage a range of treatments, including diabetes self-care activities, HIV infection medication adherence, and sickle cell anemia medication adherence. However, one aspect of health which has remained relatively unstudied in relation to smartphone technology is prenatal care.
"Prenatal care is one of the most widely utilized preventative health care services. However, there is little research on the effectiveness of standard prenatal care," said Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kathryn Marko, MD. "We wanted to re-evaluate the model for low-risk pregnancies and see if a mobile prenatal app could remove barriers to access and reduce the burden on patients and the health care system."
It was this need which drove Babyscripts to create its smartphone app. The app can remotely monitor an expectant mother's blood pressure and weight, as well as delivering key educational content designed to keep her informed on a range of topics relevant at various stages of the pregnancy.
Topics include advice on everything from nutrition to breastfeeding, and the monitoring technology can provide early warnings about hypertension or unusual weight gain. This allows mothers to recognize quickly when they need to visit a healthcare provider, helping to cut down on unnecessary visits - reducing stress for parents and the workload of OB-GYNs.
"The Babyscripts solution integrates seamlessly into workflows," says Babyscripts. "It's easy to implement and easier to use. In the case of low-risk pregnancies, Babyscripts can potentially be used to replace routine follow-up appointments. This enables practices, as a whole, to create up to 30% additional capacity by optimizing the visit schedule. With this additional capacity, clinicians can either see more patients, or schedule other consults."
Research into the effectiveness of Babyscripts has found that mothers who used the app saw their OB-GYN an average of 7.8 times - compared to 10.2 times for the non-app users in the control group. In further research, 90 percent of patients surveyed felt satisfied with their provider's care and 67 percent felt more connected with their provider through the use of the Babyscripts app.
While the app shows great promise in the improvement of prenatal care, Babyscripts needs the assistance of big healthcare partners to become truly transformative.
Philips is one such big brand to provide that investment, having recently taken a minority position in the company by leading a six-million-dollar round of financing. Through the new partnership, Babyscripts is looking to team up with Philips Healthcare's mother/baby unit and bring its platform to a whole new audience.
The partnership will also help Babyscripts continue to develop its platform to become the most extensive, clinically-validated virtual care obstetrics and pediatrics platform to support holistic care for mothers in pregnancy and post-partum care.
"Babyscripts historically has focused all of its efforts in creating a trusted channel between the patient and OB-GYN throughout the pregnancy," said President and Co-founder of Babyscripts, Juan Pablo Segura. "It's only natural that we begin to expand that relationship through postpartum care and early stage pediatrics. On average, our patients use our app and remote monitoring service six times a week. Think of how exponentially more valuable a continued relationship will be for our customers, health systems, and plans if we continue the relationship post the nine months of pregnancy."
Babyscripts has also partnered with not-for-profit healthcare provider Cone Health to gain access to clinical staff, data, and patient insight, which will allow it to further develop and expand the capabilities of the platform.
Smartphone technology has the power to transform the patient experience for expectant mothers and people suffering from a range of conditions. With its innovative smartphone application and by establishing intelligent partnerships with global healthcare providers, Babyscripts is helping drive this transformation from the ground up.
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