Smartphones deliver expectant mother's vital signs in real time

Goal is to catch problems early

NEW ORLEANS -- This will be the first Thanksgiving for Christine Lambert's 2-month-old baby girl Charlie.

And it was the first time Lambert used technology during a pregnancy. Unlike when she was expecting her son Hudson two years ago, Lambert joined the Ochsner program called Connected MOM, short for Maternity Online Monitoring.

"I felt there was more of a connection with this pregnancy than I had with my last because it was, it wasn't just waiting, you know, three or four weeks  between appointments," Lambert said.

Lambert got a blood pressure cuff, scale, and lab equipment to monitor her urine for the serious — even fatal — complications from preeclampsia.

All of her vitals were stored in her cellphone and sent everyday to her OB/GYN. She remembers one time when her blood pressure was a little high. She got an immediate alert on her phone and  a call from her doctor. 

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

Dr. Rajiv Gala, an Ochsner obstetrician and gynecologist, said the blood-pressure cuff has helped to prevent complications during delivery for some patients.

"It's forced me to have patients come in a little bit sooner,” he said. “We end up getting them delivered before there were some major complications.”

Gala stressed the importance of prenatal care. High blood pressure, too much or too little weight gain, gestational diabetes, smoking and alcohol can hurt the baby, even for a lifetime. 

"We make a big education point that this is not a replacement for prenatal care. It's an adjunct to what we're providing," Gala said.

Connected MOM did replace a few of Lambert’s doctor visits where just blood pressure and weight were taken. She said that 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," she said.

To participate in the Connected MOM program, patients can call (504) 608-5793 or click here for more information.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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