Newham Hospital has introduced a new blood pressure app for pregnant women who have, or are at risk of, high blood pressure. The app enables them to accurately measure and record their blood pressure at home, reducing the need for hospital visits.
The new app, called BPm-Health (Blood Pressure management system-Health), is produced by Sensyne Health and is helping expectant women with blood pressure issues to record their blood pressure at home. The women are provided with blood pressure pumps to measure their own blood pressure and log their reading on the app. The readings are then monitored by midwives in the hospital for any changes or problems. Offering this service to pregnant patients spares them multiple trips to the hospital and reduces demand on hospital resources, meaning it’s more time and cost efficient for everyone.
Monitoring blood pressure during pregnancy is important because high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can affect the growth of a baby. Women with high blood pressure are at greater risk of developing a condition called pre-eclampsia. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can restrict the growth of the baby and lead to ‘eclampsia’, a condition which causes seizures and can result in brain damage and even death.
Closely monitoring blood pressure in women who have hypertension – and those at risk of developing it – allows midwives and doctors to quickly identify and resolve any issues, and ensure the right treatment is given to best protect the health of both mother and baby.
Commenting on the app, Jessica Botten, a patient at Newham Hospital who is 35 weeks pregnant, said:
“The app is really straight forward and easy to use. Being able to record my blood pressure at home is so much easier than coming into the hospital. I always feel a little bit anxious and nervous waiting for my appointment in the hospital so measuring my blood pressure in the peace and quiet of my own home is incredibly helpful. ”
In addition to helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by reducing unnecessary hospital visits, the app will help midwives to use their time more effectively and give patients more ownership over their health. Once the patient inputs their blood pressure reading into the app, the details are automatically uploaded into the Bpm-Health portal which is accessible to dedicated healthcare professionals. Midwives and doctors regularly check this portal and are able to quickly follow up with patients who need further support and care.
Tosin Ikobayo, digital midwife at Newham Hospital, said:
“Occasionally, pregnant patients may need to wait for some time when coming into the hospital to have their blood pressure checked, because midwives are busy looking after other patients. This new app resolves this issue by allowing our expectant mothers to save time on travelling into the hospital and instead, measure and record their blood pressure from their own home. The added benefit of the app reducing the workload of our busy maternity unit is also a big plus!”
In addition to measuring blood pressure, the app also allows expectant mothers to record the protein levels in their urine (urinalysis), using urine strips provided. The presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria) is another symptom of pre-eclampsia and so is also regularly tested in pregnant women.
Midwives at Newham Hospital have been trained to register patients onto the BPm-Health system, and can teach pregnant women how to take and record their blood pressure readings onto the app. The app (which can be downloaded from both Android and Apple app stores) is completely free to use and is available is in English, Arabic, Somali, French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian.
Read more about maternity services at Newham Hospital.