FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The use of a mobile prenatal care app can reduce in-person obstetric (OB) visits but does not impact patient or provider satisfaction, according to a study published in the May issue of JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

Kathryn I. Marko, M.D., from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a mobile prenatal care app to facilitate a reduced in-person visit schedule for low-risk pregnancies. A control group (41 patients) receiving usual care was compared to an experimental group (47 patients) receiving prenatal care and using a mobile prenatal care app. The control group had the usual number of visits, while the experimental group had a planned reduction in the frequency of in-person office visits. The effectiveness of the virtual care platform was assessed via the number of in-person OB visits during pregnancy and patient satisfaction with prenatal care.

The researchers found that the average number of in-person OB visits during pregnancy was 7.8 in the experimental group compared with 10.2 in the control group (P = 0.01). No statistically significant differences were seen in patient or provider satisfaction (P > 0.5).

“While the results of our study were largely positive, more research is needed to determine the connection between mobile prenatal apps and maternal or fetal outcomes,” a coauthor said in a statement. “There is a lot more potential for use of mobile prenatal apps for both patients and providers.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Babyscripts; one author disclosed ties to 1EQ.

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