NEW YORK — WebMD and Scripps Translational Science Institute on Monday announced a new investigative study designed to improve researchers’ and health care professionals’ understanding of what contributes to healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes.
“Pregnant women are one of the least studied populations in medical research,” stated 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.”
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.
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.
“Over 1.5 million people have downloaded WebMD’s Pregnancy mobile app,” commented 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.”