Circle App puts health care in mom’s pocket

October 10, 2017 Providence Health Team

Did you know that women make most of the health decisions for their families? Nearly 90 percent of moms oversee the health of their children, as well as their spouse, parents and in-laws. That’s a lot of responsibility, considering 70 percent of U.S. women with children under age 18 also work out of the home.

It shouldn’t be a total surprise then, that women feel “starved for time,” as revealed in a 2015 study published by the Center for Talent Innovation, a New York-based think tank. Nearly 80 percent of the women surveyed don’t do what they know they should do to keep themselves healthy because they lack the time.

Pregnancy app helps baby

Enter health care apps designed for women’s health. These mobile tools help women manage their health and the health of their children – and they’re proving to be effective. A recent Medicaid-based study in Wyoming and reported in Telemedicine and h-Health found that pregnant women using a customized app were more likely to regularly consult with their health care provider. They were also more likely to deliver healthy babies.

The app, which combined tools and content with 24/7 access to nurse support, and other resources and programs, was given to 1,730 women enrolled in the Wyoming Medicaid program. The study found that expectant mothers who used the app were more likely to have a six-month prenatal checkup than those who did not use the app. More important, the app users had fewer low birth weight babies delivered prematurely, including by cesarean section. Low birth weight increases the risk for short-term and lifelong health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Providence offers an app to help moms

The Circle app by Providence developed by the Consumer Innovation Group is a personalized tool that assists women through pregnancy, and beyond. The team wanted to create an app to help expecting and new moms feel “normal,” and facilitate a connection with their providers. The app addresses these needs by supplying curated articles, clinically approved answers to common questions and resources, such as:

  • Breastfeeding support from videos and articles
  • Information about classes and groups for new moms and moms with older children
  • A to-do checklist from Providence experts to guide moms through every stage of pregnancy and motherhood
  • Health-tracking tools so moms can share updates with with health care providers

Circle by Providence personalizes the information it delivers based on how far along a woman is in her pregnancy. After the child is born, the app continues to supply relevant health information – from toddler through teen years.

Apps mean better health for all

Health apps and wearable devices are important tools for managing health care. They’re transforming the way providers and patients connect, and can help patients manage chronic disease, such as diabetes. Findings from a 2015 survey revealed that more Americans are willing to use health apps and wearable devices to improve their health.

There are hundreds of apps designed specifically for women. Fertility trackers are increasingly popular, as are apps to help promote better sleep. Pregnancy apps are surpassing fitness apps as the most downloaded apps by women. In one survey of 203 pregnant women, 65 percent reported that they had downloaded pregnancy apps as a resource.

Perhaps the best news about pregnancy apps, such as Circle by Providence, is the ability to improve birth outcomes by motivating expecting mothers to schedule appointments earlier, and on a more consistent basis. The result for both mother and baby can be overwhelmingly positive for a lifetime.

Learn more about Circle by Providence

This new mobile app is one of many ways Providence supports women, their families and their health. If you’d like to explore Circle by Providence and its helpful resources, download it by going to the App Store for iPhone, or Google Play for Android. It’s free and easy to download.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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