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Telemed J E Health. 2017 Nov;23(11):891-898. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2016.0242. Epub 2017 May 8.

Impact of a Mobile Health Application on User Engagement and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Wyoming Medicaid Members.

Author information

1
1 Wyoming Medicaid, Office of Health Care Financing , Cheyenne, Wyoming.
2
2 Wildflower Health , San Francisco, California.
3
3 Care and Quality Solutions, Xerox Healthcare Solutions , Cumming, Georgia .
4
4 Analytics Resource Center, Xerox Healthcare Solutions , Redmond, Washington.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pregnancy and birth outcomes are a critical area of healthcare, yet negative outcomes like C-sections and preterm births remain widespread. Studies show that early and ongoing prenatal care can improve outcomes; however, in-person care is difficult to deliver in rural areas. This article examines the impact of mobile health technology on user engagement and birth outcomes in a Wyoming pilot study. The pilot did face some limitations; namely, the small app user group size and scant demographic information collected from users.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Wyoming Medicaid contracted with Xerox State Healthcare to launch WYhealth Due Date Plus, a pregnancy application by Wildflower Health. Pregnant Medicaid members registering for the app and providing a Medicaid ID were assigned to the app user group (N = 85). The non-app user group consisted of other pregnant Medicaid members with delivery outcome records (N = 5,158). Downloads and utilization frequency were tracked to gauge user engagement. Among pregnant Medicaid members, data were collected on app usage and four outcomes of interest-6-month or more prenatal visit, C-section, low birth weight, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission-to examine the association between app use and pregnancy/birth outcomes. Chi-square tests were conducted to analyze associations. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to assess potential confounding.

RESULTS:

Strong user engagement was observed with over 1,730 downloads. App users had a statistically significant association between app usage and completion of a 6-month or more prenatal visit (p = 0.022). There was a borderline significant association between app use and decreased incidence of low birth weight (p = 0.055). Maternal age was not a possible confounder.

CONCLUSIONS:

Preliminary data indicate that Due Date Plus attracted an engaged user base and that app usage was associated with improvements in prenatal visit completion and reduced incidence of low-birth weight delivery. These promising results suggest broader implementation and further study of mobile applications for prenatal support.

KEYWORDS:

birth outcomes; consumer health information; engagement; low birth weight; mobile health; pregnancy; prenatal care; telemedicine

PMID:
28481167
PMCID:
PMC5684663
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2016.0242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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