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It’s a time of joy for women anxious to expand their families but pregnancy also comes with risk.
Now a new program keeps tabs on women who face complications.
Skylar Andrews was in perfect health when she became pregnant with her son Zayn. But toward the end of her pregnancy, Skylar’s blood pressure skyrocketed.
Andrews said, “About 200 over 114.”
Andrews had a condition called pre-eclampsia, dangerous for mom during pregnancy and after.
Hyagriv Simhan, MD, Dir of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Magee-Womens Hospital said, “It increases the risk of heart attack and stroke over the lifetime about two and a half fold.”
That’s why doctors encouraged skylar to check herself at home. With this portable cuff and a smartphone, she could. 38-year-old Jessica Wolfe also needed high-tech support. After years of battling infertility, this was a big surprise.
Wolfe said, “We still struggle with wow this is real. This is happening. We’re gonna have a baby.”
Jessica is considered higher risk. She has gestational diabetes.
An app on jessica’s smartphone generates reminders to check her blood sugar four times a day and report back so doctors can respond.
Simhan said, “We want to be able to identify the patients who need a phone call and not just identify them when they show up in the emergency department.”
Skylar’s blood pressure is now back to normal. Two conditions made a little more manageable with the touch of a button.
Simham says the remote monitoring program also helps with compliance after pregnancy, only about 40 percent of all women keep their post-partum appointments after they deliver.
90 percent of the women who were enrolled in the remote monitoring program during pregnancy keep their appointments.