Published on 24 September 2019
A smartphone app for parents-to-be, developed by clinicians at East Kent Hospitals, has been downloaded more than 5,000 times.
The MOMA maternity app allows expectant mums and dads under the care of Trust staff to access the information they need at the touch of a button, including important contact numbers, health information and videos.
Staff are now working on the second phase of the app, which will include personalised information about their pregnancy and any conditions they may have and local information about breastfeeding-friendly businesses, baby groups and antenatal classes.
Midwifery matron, Jo Olagboyega and obstetrician Dr Ciaran Crowe worked with the midwifery team and new parents to develop the app, which was funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Social Care’s Safer Maternity Innovation Fund.
Jo said: “We knew we needed to communicate with parents in a different way, as we found they were not reading the leaflets we were giving them.
“All too often they ended up stuffed at the back of their notes, and so they were not aware of some of the advice or information we wanted to give them.
“But we did notice they were all using their phones, so it made sense to develop an app that they could use throughout the pregnancy and beyond.”
The pair worked with Beautiful Information, who monitor the app’s use and are constantly working to improve it.
Ciaran said there were advantages for hospital staff as well as patients.
He said: “The app links to a patient tracking system that allows us to plan and track demand on the service, and make sure people receive the care they need by a certain date.
“If lots of people sign up in a certain month, we know that six to eight months later we will need extra staff working in our delivery suites.
“We are now piloting a new tile on the app, so people will be able to access their notes wherever they are, avoiding the need to carry a paper copy around with them.”
The updates are expected to be available in the next three months, and the team also plan to introduce the ability to see upcoming appointments and to receive reminders.
The Trust was also the first to go live with a customisable Personal Health Record, giving patients free electronic access to their maternity records, after a successful pilot. Feedback from staff and patients is now being used to help develop the software for the future.
For more information on the MOMA app go to https://www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/pregnancy-and-childbirth/