Video and Blog: Mobile Health Monitoring Assists Healthy Pregnancy

by Christine Donato in SAP Business Trends
Mar 9, 2015 2:05 PM ET

SAP Business Trends

This Sunday, women and men around the world will come together to celebrate females.  March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a 24 hour period dedicated to women’s health, achievements, and female empowerments. Linked with women’s health, connected care plays a crucial role in keeping the world’s XX-chromosomes healthy.

Connected care is eminently preventative because today, instead of reacting to a diagnosis, health providers want to stop illness before it starts. Through mobile innovations and sensor technologies, today’s doctors can report on key health indicators to prevent illnesses altogether or detect it early, saving lives and thousands in reactive care costs.

Connected Care Helps Pregnant Women

Heidelberg University Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in all of Europe, is a perfect example of connected care working to improve women’s lives.

In partnership with SAP and abcmedien, the University Hospital developed an app to provide pregnant women all information needed along their pregnancy and beyond.

However, unlike the typical pregnancy app, which only pushes consumer product information, the healthcare experts at Heidelberg University Hospital created this app to serve as a duel resource for both mothers and physicians alike. 

Strengthening the Doctor/Patient Relationship

Because pregnancy doesn’t require frequent doctors’ appointments, it’s difficult to gather feedback from pregnant moms. To maintain a close relationship with mothers during pregnancy, the app asks users discrete and subtle psychological questions purposed to gather information to identify and prevent health issues like depression.

The Science behind Our Emotions

During pregnancy, hormones change and can affect brain chemicals, inducing antepartum depression and/or anxiety.  According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, roughly 14-23 percent of women will struggle with symptoms of depression at some point during their pregnancy. Luckily, antepartum depression is 100 percent treatable, but in many cases, the pregnant mother assumes that the mood changes are nothing more than normal hormonal imbalances (similar to PMS).

At Heidelberg University Hospital, doctors can analyze the answers obtained through the app, and proactively identify mothers at risk for such illness and provide them with the necessary resources to treat the depression before it takes effect. It’s very important to prevent antepartum depression because research suggests that children of women who experienced depression during pregnancy have a higher risk of becoming depressed as adults (JAMA Psychiatry).

Behind the Scenes Technology

The app runs real-time data processing via the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and was built on the SAP Mobile Platform to provide Heidelberg University Hospital an intuitive interface to connect doctors with patients and vice versa. In the future, Heidelberg University Hospital hopes to expand the app to help treat and monitor cancer patients as well as other diseases.

Want more details? Watch the video to hear some of the experts at Heidelberg Hospital explain the app in more detail.

By engaging with pregnant women and monitoring their health via this mobile application, Heidelberg University Hospital can reduce immediate and long-term risks for mother and for baby. The traditional relationship between patient and doctor still exists, but now, with connected care, society is transitioning to a more proactive and preventive patient/doctor relationship leading to healthier lives and lower healthcare costs.

How will you celebrate International Women’s Day? Share it with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

You might also like to read about NCT Heidelberg and how they are personalizing cancer treatments with big data technology.

To hear more about how real-time analytics can affect your business, click here.