Use of Mobile health applications in obstetric care: A review
Introduction: Mhealth is a medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices. Mhealth technology has many important usage in obstetric care such as access to emergency obstetric response and point of care support, health promotion, maternity records into a mobile application, and mhealth apps connected to biomedical device. Methodology: A non-systematic review was conducted with the aim to identify the obstetric issues faced by pregnant women, the type of mhealth applications used in obstetric care and its effectiveness. Results: Twelve studies published from 2012 to 2015 were found mainly focusing on obstetric issues such as health promotion and disease prevention (n=3), obesity and overweight (n=2), HIV prevention from mother to infant (n=3), smoking cessation (n=2), antenatal attendance (n=1), antenatal health knowledge and awareness (n=1). Text messaging was the only intervention used as mhealth application. Seven studies used a unique mhealth app such as Text4baby, Quit4baby, MoMTECH, Preg CHAT TEXT, and Wired Mothers while five studies used a simple mobile device SMS function to send text messages to pregnant women. Overall, all the reviewed studies showed potential positive impact of mhealth application to reduce the antenatal obstetric challenges. However, only six studies showed statistically significant effect on at least one outcome measure whereas two studies didn’t demonstrate significant effect on any outcome measures and four studies couldn’t test for statistical significance due to small number of participants. Conclusion: Thus, more high quality researches with large study population and long follow-up period should be conducted to expose evidenced based long term effects of different mhealth applications in obstetric care.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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