- Run by the maternity/day assessment unit at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, London.
- Focusing on monitoring the health of pregnant women.
- Aiming to reduce the number of hospital visits that pregnant women with high blood pressure need.
- An initiative that allows pregnant women to monitor their health at home via an innovative smartphone app.
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 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.
This project 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.
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.
For more information about this project, please contact Elaine Sheehan, Midwife at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust or contact Dr Asma Khalil, Consultant/Senior Lecturer in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust.