A new mobile app that allows healthcare providers to monitor their pregnant patients is gaining recognition with mothers-to-be.

Babyscripts is the first mobile clinical app that allows OB-GYNs to remotely keep watch on their pregnant patient’s progress and health. The app also provides patients with weekly educational updates customized to their gestational period.

The founders of the startup created Babyscripts with hopes to help OBGYNs deliver better prenatal care and make an impact to reduce preterm birth rates in the United States.

Anish Sebastian, Babyscripts chief executive officer and co-founder, told Dr.China that he, Juan Pablo Segura, Babyscripts president and co-founder, and their team are on a mission to make all this happen within the next 10 years.

“This is our moonshot. This is what everyone in our company wakes up in the morning wanting to accomplish by the year 2027. We want to make an impact to eliminate… or drastically reduce preterm birth in the United States,” Sebastian said. “Now that’s very audacious. Some people may even call us crazy for doing that, but it gives us our North Star. It gives us a goal that we can go after.”

What the app does

On its , Babyscripts describes itself as a “to-do list” that guides patients through each gestation period with practice-specific, provider-approved tasks related to nutrition, exercise, and other behaviors that support a healthy pregnancy.

The mobile application has been a hit with the Midwives of MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

The group piloted the app with their patients last year and received encouraging feedback.

“The feedback from our patients was overwhelmingly positive,” said Loral Patchen, PhD, CNM, director of Midwifery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Patchen explained to Dr.China that patients love it because the information provided is broken up and targeted to their specific needs.

“It helps us move the visit from this information dump to targeted information,” she said.

“As a practice, the thing that we appreciate about it is that it helps us manage the patients and there’s a consistent frame of reference of the educational material,” Patchen added. “We know what that material is. They're good solid references… It’s been a very positive way to individualize care, which is one of our main goals — figuring out how do we provide the care our patients need in their own lives, what is most meaningful to them in their families and ‘Babyscripts’ has been a useful way to do that.”

Tracking blood pressure

In addition to the mobile application, expectant mothers enrolled in the Schedule Optimization module receive a “Mommy Kit” that includes an internet-connected blood pressure kit.

The moms-to-be can track their weight and blood pressure through a Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure cuff and weight scale. The information is then sent to their medical providers for review.

That reduces the number of unnecessary doctor’s visits for most women and increases visits for at-risk patients.

Patients are instructed to use the devices on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If there’s a problem with the collected data, Babyscripts notifies the healthcare providers.

According to a MedStar report, the combination of home monitoring and notification of “abnormal triggers” has reduced the number of in-person prenatal visits from about 14 to 9 per person.

“Babyscripts creates additional flexibility within our practice and provides a common bank of knowledge that allows us to personalize care to a greater degree during office visits. And both midwives and mothers appreciate that opportunity,” said Patchen in a .

A patient’s perspective

Morgan Loosli, a MedStar patient, felt the program was convenient because it reduced the number of face-to-face doctor’s visits and it allowed her to feel more connected to her providers.

“Babyscripts was great for me as a mom with kids because it reduced the frequency of my appointments without compromising the quality of my care,” she told Dr.China. “I felt more connected to the midwives during this pregnancy than I had with my doctor in my first pregnancy.”

Loosli also noted that the app allowed her to look at her health on a larger scheme and help her make better decisions with her diet.

“Babyscripts helped me feel more in aware of my overall health during this pregnancy because I could open the app at any time and see my weight over time. I wanted to keep the curve steady, and I thought much more about what I was eating and how it might affect my chart between appointments,” said Loosli.

Expanding the app’s reach

Babyscripts started its pregnancy care journey in 2014.

Since then, the company has been part of two studies. It’s also partnered with General Electric, March of Dimes, Startup Health, and the White House.

In addition, the company has connected with 15 healthcare systems across the nation. Currently, the app is only available to hospitals that have partnered with Babyscripts.

Sebastian explained that when they started “the birth of Babyscripts,” they only had a specific pathway for low-risk uncomplicated pregnancies.

However, over the past year they started to expand their product portfolio to help patients with medium- to high-risk pregnancies.

“When you look at something like preterm birth or infant mortality, it’s all based on medium- or high-risk pregnancies like a diabetic who becomes pregnant or someone who is hypertensive. So, these are major risks that we haven't had a chance to focus on until now,” he said. “We are now developing much more fine-tuned, refined risk modules allowing clinicians, nurses, doctors, [and] OB-GYNs to manage these patients in a much more real-time manner. And that’s pretty exciting because that’s where we want to be and that allows us to intervene in a much more precise manner and more than likely make an impact.”

Babyscripts now has modules that monitor pregnant women who have diabetes. That program was first launched with Cone Health in December.

Babyscripts will be working with MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP) program to promote healthier living and improve the overall well-being of pregnant and parenting youth through technology.

According to the hospital’s report, the Babyscripts Care Navigator module is the first-of-its-kind initiative for pregnant teen mothers, providing automated patient education in the form of daily tips, along with the ability to interact with the moms through a HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging platform.

“There’s a whole multifactorial approach that needs to be taken in the country, but we are hoping to play a key role in that by enabling and leveraging technology in the most intuitive way possible,” said Sebastian.