New App Can Determine Risk Of Preterm Birth

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New app QUiPP v2 can help doctors to calculate a woman’s individual risk of preterm birth.
  • It can also help doctors to decide that which woman needs special care.

Researchers have developed a mobile phone application called “QUiPP v2”. This app enables doctors to not only quickly calculate a woman’s individual risk of preterm birth, but also identify women who need special treatments.

The app uses a complicated algorithm to produce a simple percentage risk score. It takes in to account information on the woman such as previous preterm birth, late miscarriage and symptoms, along with clinical test results that can help to predict the outcome.

Some women are more likely to have their babies early. On the other hand, some have symptoms of labor too early in pregnancy. If identified, these women can be given special treatments or extra monitoring that aim to prevent early delivery. Best chance of child surviving without long-term problems can also be contemplated and ensured.

Dr Jenny Carter, senior research midwife in department of women & children’s health at King’s College London, who is also the lead author of study, said:

“We are delighted to be able to share the findings of our work which shows that the QUiPP app is very reliable in predicting preterm birth in women at risk. This should mean that women who need treatments are offered them appropriately, and also that doctors and women can be reassured when these treatments are not needed, which reduces the possibility of negative effects and unnecessary costs for the NHS.”

Babies are born early, like before 37 weeks of pregnancy, are either more likely to die, or have physical, developmental and emotional problems. This can result in an emotional as well as financial burden for families and substantial cost for the National Health Service (NHS) and care services.

What next?

Supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Guy’s & St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre, the team of researchers has evaluated whether QUiPP can improve appropriate targeting of care or not. The results are expected next year.

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