Jane's Friday Thoughts: How Smartphones Change Healthcare Outcomes

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Jane’s Friday Thoughts are a collection of entries on the state of modern maternity from OB-GYN and Maven Medical Director, Jane van Dis.

Physicians (like everyone else these days) are measured, metric'd, and required to pass yearly exams to ensure that they are staying up-to-date with the latest information and research in their specialty. For OB-GYNs, that means making sure to pass their Maintenance of Certification exam, online, by December 15th (the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology chooses the articles and administers the exam). While taking my exam earlier this week, I came across a great article that I want to share with you. It’s about a study that looked at early intervention via smartphone app for patients with diabetes.

Why it matters

  • Diabetes affects 8-9% of all pregnancies.

  • Diabetes is on the rise.

  • Patients with gestational diabetes (diabetes diagnosed in their pregnancy) are at a higher risk for preeclampsia shoulder dystocia (baby getting stuck at the last minute coming through the birth canal—an extremely serious obstetric emergency), birth injury, neonatal complications requiring NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) admission, and cesarean section.

  • Good blood sugar control improves outcomes for mothers and babies.

How Maven helps

At Maven, our dedicated High-Risk Pregnancy program allows Maven practitioners to connect early and often with patients who have high-risk conditions like diabetes in pregnancy. The study in this article found that women who used a smart phone app to receive dietary tips, real-time feedback regarding their glycemic (blood sugar) management, and real-time answers from providers to their questions, had better glycemic control, fewer adverse outcomes, and higher satisfaction with their prenatal care.

Bottom line

Healthcare is rapidly changing and telemedicine is going to play an ever important role in improving outcomes for mothers and babies. At Maven, women with complications in pregnancy and normal pregnancies alike have an increased opportunity to gain valuable insight into their personal pregnancy journey and the ability to take important steps towards healthy outcomes.

Have a happy Friday everyone!

Take care,
Jane