Last year, the maternity team at Northern Health was looking for innovative digital solutions that will enable pregnant women and new mothers to have access to information and assistance when they need it.
Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of Eve, a mobile application designed to enhance the pregnancy and parenting experience for mums in the north by providing them with access to evidence based information relating to pregnancy, birthing and early parenting.
Nicole Carlon, Director of Operations, Women’s and Children’s Services, says Eve came about as a result of, “looking at ways to improve women’s involvement in their own care and improve the quality and timeliness of the information they were seeking regarding pregnancy, birthing and early parenting.”
“This issue became even more apparent when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we needed another way for women to engage with us, given delayed face to face antenatal care,” says Nicole.
Nicole says there was a need for the service as, “Many women use Google and commercially available apps or ask on forums when they are seeking information. They don’t want to bother the midwives by calling for information and with almost everyone having a smartphone, this is the easiest way for them to get accurate answers.”
“Unfortunately, this often results in misinformation, scaremongering and even sometimes online bullying. Furthermore, commercial applications are often driven by commercial interests and this creates a bias with the information provided.”
Nicole goes onto say that as a midwife, having three young children of her own and having used all of the above methods for information seeking, she was dismayed at the misinformation that was rife. “I also saw on many social media groups that I was part of, women who didn’t want to bother their care providers with questions that were medical in nature that could result in a poor outcome due to the wrong information being provided,” she says.
“When women book in to have their baby at Northern Health, they will receive an SMS inviting them to download the application. This will be linked to their specific booking and their own medical record and will have bank-level encryption to ensure privacy is maintained. Women will receive weekly updates about how their body and baby is growing and have new articles that are relevant to their stage of pregnancy/parenting. They can also search for specific articles or topics that they are interested in.”
“Unlike other pregnancy applications, women will also be able to see their own pregnancy information by accessing their antenatal visit notes and test results within the application. They will also be able to ask questions through the app (to a midwife); have access to a moderated forum; be able to input medical data like blood sugar levels and blood pressure readings for their doctor to see and have access to a variety of tools like a contraction monitor (that we can see in Birth Suite) and baby feeding/nappy changing trackers,” she adds.
The Eve app has practical content such as, ‘Serious pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore’, ‘What is fetal monitoring?’, ‘Tired cues’, ‘Expressing breast milk’, ‘Babies first 24 hours’ and ‘Alcohol, smoking, drugs and medications when breastfeeding’.
Nicole says that, while at the moment Eve is available only in English (aside from some educational content that is also available in other languages), they will continue to build both written and video content in languages other than English to continuously add to and improve the application.
“We are also looking to build content for specific cultural groups that will take in to account their specific cultural practices and beliefs. In addition, we will be collecting feedback from women on what they would like added,” she says.
Featured image shows Nicole Carlon, Director of Operations Women’s and Children’s Services.