WebMD’s Pregnancy app will use Apple’s ResearchKit, making it easy for expectant moms to participate while providing researchers with important medical insights
NEW YORK and LA JOLLA, Calif., March 20, 2017 — WebMD and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) today announced a new investigative study designed to improve researchers’ and health care professionals’ understanding of what contributes to healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes. The Healthy Pregnancy Study will use WebMD’s newly redesigned and enhanced Pregnancy app for iPhone. Incorporation of the Apple ResearchKit software framework will enable survey participants to eConsent, easily and anonymously answer questions, and share connected device data about their pregnancies with researchers for analysis.
“Pregnant women are one of the least studied populations in medical research,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of STSI and editor-in-chief of Medscape. “The results of our Healthy Pregnancy Study — on the foundation of an exceptionally popular smartphone app — will ultimately provide expectant mothers, researchers, and health care professionals with new medical insights to avoid complications during pregnancy.”
Participants in the Healthy Pregnancy Study will be asked to share information about their medication use, vaccinations they may have received during pregnancy, pre-existing conditions, blood pressure and weight change, diagnoses during pregnancy, as well as childbirth location, among other details. They will also be able to share biometric data, including the number of steps and amount of sleep from their connected devices. After they give birth, participants will also be asked to share information about additional factors, including provider insights and interventions, and birth size of the baby. In return, the app will give users visualizations of their data trends throughout pregnancy, and later on, as more data is collected, it will allow users to compare their data with that of other pregnant women who share their traits.
According to the CDC, each year in the United States, 65,000 women have severe pregnancy complications. Despite medical advances, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States has increased over the past 25 years , with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity making women more likely to have pregnancy complications.
“Over 1.5 million people have downloaded WebMD’s Pregnancy mobile app,” said Dr. Hansa Bhargava, WebMD’s medical editor and in-house pediatric expert. “By incorporating the Healthy Pregnancy Study directly within the app and making it available to such a large base of expectant moms, we hope to advance research. We will collect large amounts of diverse data that can help scientists and doctors to better understand factors that contribute to healthy pregnancies. Ultimately, this will help moms have healthy pregnancies and have healthier babies.”
WebMD’s newly enhanced and redesigned version of its Pregnancy mobile app for iPhone also includes new and updated tools for tracking both mom’s and baby’s health, as well as helpful resources, including:
- Pregnancy A-Z: From what to eat and which medications to avoid, to a comprehensive list of prenatal tests, users can find on-the-go answers to fundamental health questions.
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Users can monitor their changing body and baby’s development every week through beautiful interactive illustrations.
- Pregnancy Community: Users can connect with other moms, learn from their experiences, and share their joys and apprehensions with an active and caring community.
- Ask My Doctor: WebMD’s comprehensive list of important questions will help make the most out of each prenatal visit.
- Checklists: WebMD has curated a list of essentials to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. From baby clothes to postpartum care advice, users can add notes, set reminders, and create custom lists based on their unique needs.
- Contraction Timer: Users can log duration, frequency, and intensity of contractions and help determine how their labor is progressing and when it is time to call the doctor.
For more about the Healthy Pregnancy Study and the WebMD Pregnancy app, visit http://taps.io/BonLw.
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About Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI)
The Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) aims to replace traditional one-size-fits-all medicine with individualized health care by using the power of genomic medicine, wireless health sensors, mobile phone applications, and other digital medicine technologies. In a unique collaboration, STSI merges the considerable biomedical science expertise of the Scripps Research Institute with Scripps Health’s exceptional patient care and clinical research capabilities. STSI is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award. For more information, visit www.stsiweb.org.
 Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/maternal.htm
Scripps Translational Science Institute