Mobile platform for gestational diabetes support
We’ve developed and trialled a mobile app to help women and clinicians better manage gestational diabetes.
Around 1 in 10 pregnant people in Australia will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a condition linked with increased risk of complications to the parent and baby in pregnancy and birth.
Because of the complexities of pregnancy and diabetes, women with the condition are supported by a team of medical experts.
However, much of the management of their condition happens at home. Women have to track their blood sugar levels and other key health indicators.
This information needs to be available to multiple clinicians so that appropriate support can be provided.
Gestational diabetes can be particularly challenging for women who live in rural or remote areas, where accessing healthcare can be more difficult.
With Redland Hospital, we co-developed a mobile platform to help women with gestational diabetes, and their treating clinicians, better monitor and track their condition.
The app, called M♡THer, replaces a traditional paper-based diary system. Women can record information in the app such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, weight, diet and exercise.
This information is uploaded to the linked clinician portal, so their dietitian, diabetes educator, midwife and obstetrician can monitor their progress in real time and intervene if required.
The app also includes educational resources to help women understand and manage gestational diabetes.
The M♡THer health platform was tested in a feasibility study of 40 women at Redland Hospital in Queensland, Australia.
The women reported the app was user-friendly, convenient, helpful in managing their gestational diabetes. It also gave them more confidence in managing their condition.
Treating clinicians reported improved communication with the women in their care. The mobile platform also allowed for greater multi-disciplinary coordination between treating clinicians.
The platform enabled early intervention for a number of women who recorded elevated blood glucose level readings in the first week of using the app.
Metro South Health has provided additional funding for implementation research in their antenatal clinics in Queensland. The research is to commence in March 2020.
We are also investigating the potential implementation of M♡THer into other hospitals around Australia.
The Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) is CSIRO's digital health research program and a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government. The AEHRC works with state and federal health agencies, clinical research groups and health businesses around Australia.