New app connects expecting mothers to doctors daily

Courtesy of CBS Newspath

NEW YORK — A new app allows pregnant women to connect directly to their OB/GYN so that doctors can monitor their health daily.

Christine Lambert used the new Ochsner Program called Connected Mom during her most recent pregnancy and said it gave her peace of mind.

“I felt there was more of a connection with this pregnancy than I had with my last because it wasn’t just waiting you know three or four weeks between appointments.”

As part of the program, Lambert received a blood pressure cuff, scale and lab equipment to monitor her urine for the serious — even fatal — complications from preeclampsia. All of it connected to her cell phone wirelessly and sent her vitals to her OB-GYN daily.

She told CBS News about one instance when her blood pressure was a little high. She said she got an immediate alert on her phone and a call from her doctor.

“It was really cool. It was that reassurance that not only was the system looking out for me, but then my doctor noticed it too.”

“The nice thing is that the blood pressure cuff has alerted me to high blood pressure so it’s forced me to have patients come in a little bit sooner,” said Lambert’s doctor, Dr. Rajiv Gala. “We caught patients quickly. We end up getting them delivered before there were some major complications.”

Dr. Gala stressed the importance of prenatal care, saying high blood pressure, changes in weight and other factors can hurt the baby. However, the app shouldn’t be used as a replacement for prenatal care.

“It’s an adjunct to what we’re providing,” she said.

In Lambert’s case, Connected Mom did replace a few of her doctor visits where just blood pressure and weight were taken which was a big help with her schedule as a mom, wife, employee and student.

“Even though I missed those three appointments I was in constant communication with my doctor.”