I am delighted to announce that I am part of a team that has received a grant from The Health Foundation for a project that involves the development and use of a smartphone app that allows women to monitor their health at home and alerts them if they need to attend hospital for further assessment.
Hypertensive disorders complicate 10% of pregnancies and pre-eclampsia affects 2‑8%. Pre-eclampsia can be life-threatening for the mother and baby – it is associated with adverse outcomes such as pre-term birth, fetal growth restriction, acute renal or hepatic failure, and maternal death.
Women who have high blood pressure (hypertension) in pregnancy are advised to attend hospital frequently to monitor for the development of pre-eclampsia. These frequent hospital visits can cause anxiety to pregnant women and their families, and have significant cost implications for the NHS.
Pregnant women who are at risk of developing pre-eclampsia will be supplied with automated blood pressure machines and urine dipsticks. The women input their blood pressure readings and urine test results using the app. They then answer a set of trigger questions that will help identify if they are developing pre-eclampsia.
The app will have a language feature with options for the most widely spoken languages of patients in South London (Urdu, Tamil and Polish).
The project will empower women to be involved in their own clinical assessment, improve patient experience and satisfaction, and reduce hospital waiting times. It will also potentially identify women who have developed pre-eclampsia earlier, and prevent outcomes such as stroke or maternal death by alerting the women at risk to attend hospital.
More information can be found here.