Many of us in Family Medicine practice full scope including obstetrics. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of family medicine, but also one of the most challenging with very unpredictable hours and significant medical legal risk. Many other providers in primary care and OB/GYN may only provide outpatient prenatal care which is equally rewarding with a somewhat more predictable lifestyle. Regardless of what scope of obstetrics care you provide your obstetrics patients have a lot of questions about their prenatal care and what to expect when the big day arrives.
The app store is bursting with medical apps for pregnant patients. Which ones should we recommend? For years, the Department of Defense/Veteran’s Affairs Pregnancy Guide–the Purple Book–has been our go-to guide for patients. Every OB patient received one at their initial OB intake visit and were encouraged to bring it to each visit. The book succinctly follows an uncomplicated pregnancy practice guideline developed by DOD/VA with tons of additional material for pregnant patients. Now in the smartphone age, what pregnancy apps could we recommend?
Here on iMedicalApps we have reviewed several patient centered pregnancy apps including Sprout Pregnancy, Mayo Clinic on Pregnancy, My Prognosis Pregnancy, Ilithyia (really geared for providers but too good not to mention) and Hello Baby Pregnancy Calendar. We even have a list of the most useful contraction timing apps for pregnancy (and ones you should steer patients away from).
When patients ask what to try, I had previously steered them towards the Sprout Pregnancy and the Mayo Clinic apps, but now that the VA/DOD app Pregnancy A to Z is available this may become my new go to Pregnancy Journal app to recommend to patients. The pregnancy journal app is produced by the Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia, which is part of the US Air Force. It is also one of the best pregnancy journal apps for physician use along with Ilithyia. The medical app contains the same great material found in the Purple Book, but now is smartphone friendly with active journaling, patient obstetric statistics, videos, and built in kick counter and contraction timer.
Evidence based medicine
Pregnancy A to Z incorporates the most current version of the DOD/VA uncomplicated pregnancy practice guideline which is evidence as well as expert opinion based. The pregnancy journal app follows nearly all of ACOG’s recommendations.
What patients/providers would benefit from this App?
Any pregnant patient, providers caring for pregnant patients including students, NP’s, PA’s, midwives, family medicine, and OB/GYN providers.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Contains the entirety of the Purple Book, but in app form.
- Journal function, patient stats, appointment reminders, 3D animations, videos, etc..
- Contraction timer and kick counter built in.
- Available for both iOS and Android
- The education sections of the medical app use small fonts and cramped text.
- Interface and animations not as flashy as some of the competition.
- Medical App content has not been updated since 2013, although app has received numerous bug fixes and an updated design since initial release.
A great pregnancy journal app for pregnant patients with a wealth of information for patients and their providers all built around a solid evidence base. The medical app has numerous features that competitors charge a premium for, but here are all included for free.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Many features for patients and providers, but the education section is a bit too dense with text.
- Multimedia Usage
Patient stat tracking, export capability, quality videos, 3D animations, timers/counters. Only the interface is a bit stale compared to other apps (that cost a lot more).
App is free!
- Real World Applicability
Regardless of where a pregnant patient receives their care, this app should be on their smartphone. Providers who care for obstetric patients could learn a great deal by “following along” with their patients using the resources in this app.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2.1
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPadWindows