Many of us in family medicine practice full scope including obstetrics. Many other providers in primary care and OB/GYN provide only outpatient prenatal care. Regardless, one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of women’s health is the care that occurs (or should occur) PRIOR to conception. Even though providers can bill for this care, it rarely occurs or is inadequate. Part of the reason for this is preconception care is not well taught in medical school or residency. The end result is women (and men) are not properly counseled how to prepare for pregnancy or successfully avoid pregnancy until it is too late.

There are many resources available for preconception care, but most have not been available in app form. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published practice bulletins on the subject and review articles from various journals are also available. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released an excellent app called Preconception Care which we favorably reviewed. There is a fabulous National Curriculum on Preconception Care available for free as part of the national Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC). Until now, this resource was only available online. Thanks to Dr. Joshua Steinberg, we now have a Preconception Care Quick Ref derived from the PCHHC toolkit.

Here at iMedicalApps we are fans of Dr. Steinberg’s high-yield, easy-to-use, and always free apps. Over the past 2 years, he has released many apps that I have reviewed here on iMedicalApps, including EBM Stats CalcPneumoVaccinesDepo CalendarOB WheelsGout DiagnosisHealth Maintenance Visits and Step-by-Step Febrile Infant. Other useful point-of-care apps by D. Steinberg include PreopEval14PFT EvalEFM GuidePE & DVT Dx Tool, and, my favorite, Pneumonia Guide. The PCHHC is coordinated by the Center for Maternal and Infant Health, the UNC, Chapel Hill Medical School. It is comprised of over 70 different organizations with the vision “that all women and men of reproductive age will achieve optimal health and wellness…”

Clinical Scenario

You are seeing a 22-year-old G1P1 who is interested in having another child. Her last pregnancy was complicated by gestational diabetes. She drinks occasionally, especially on weekends, has a history of asthma for which she takes several medications. Her family history is significant for a brother with Down’s Syndrome. She is not taking a prenatal vitamin. Her husband smokes. How would you counsel this patient regarding preparing for conception? How would you counsel her if she wasn’t interested in becoming pregnant?

Evidence-based medicine

The app contains information from the national PCHHC toolkit which incorporates recommendations from many reputable sources including the CDC, ACOG and others. Detailed toolkit information is located off-app on the PCHHC website, but all hyperlinks work and the toolkit information appears current.

What providers would benefit from this App?

Students, residents, nurses, mid-levels, family medicine, internal medicine, midwives, ob/gyn, and any provider who performs preconception counseling/care.

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.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Evidence-based information from a reputable source (PCHHC toolkit)
    • Question-based format for navigating many sections of the app
    • Wide range of topics covered from family planning to interpersonal violence
  • Dislikes
    • Lacks some handy internal and external app hyperlinks to speed navigation
    • Detailed resources located off-app on the PCHHC website
    • Not available for Android
  • Overall

    Another excellent preconception app for healthcare providers. Dr. Steinberg has created the “official” app for the PCHHC and distilled their comprehensive toolkit into a handy quick reference. The app does not have as many native resources as the VA Preconception Care app; however, when combined with the full online PCHHC toolkit, the app provides critical resources for providers to ensure women are well cared and receive preconception care.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to use interface with question-based format. Could benefit from more internal/external hyperlinks.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Contains hyperlinks to the PCHHC toolkit and website. App uses a question-based approach to navigate some sections. Would ideally contain more of the toolkit natively in the app.

  • Price

    App is free!

  • Real World Applicability

    An app that truly enables providers to perform preconception care to “every woman, every time”. The app will provide enough for most providers; others will want the entire PCHHC toolkit via the included hyperlinks.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 11.2.5