The femtech revolution—A new approach to pregnancy management: Digital transformation of maternity care—The hybrid e-health perinatal clinic addressing the unmet needs of low- and middle-income countries

Moshe Hod*, Hema Divakar, Anne B. Kihara, Michael Geary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prenatal care and infant mortality rates are crucial indicators of healthcare quality. However, millions of women in low-income countries lack access to adequate care. Factors such as high-risk pregnancies and unmanaged diet increase the risk of developing complications during pregnancy, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring of maternal health. The increasing burden of non-communicable diseases represents a significant threat to fragile health systems. The lack of access to appropriate prenatal care and poor maternal and newborn health outcomes are major concerns in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It emphasizes the need for innovative, integrative approaches to healthcare delivery, especially in pregnant women. The health services need to be reorganized holistically and effectively, focusing on factors that directly impact maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality, resulting in improved access to maternity services and survival of “at-risk” mothers and their offspring in many LMICs. Based on the FIGO (the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics) recommendations of extending preconception care to the postpartum stage, the authors of this review have developed a new model of care—PregCare—based on the triple-intervention-based holistic and multidisciplinary maternal and fetal medicine model for low-risk pregnancies. This model will help transform the traditional model's high visitation frequency into a safe and reduced office visit, while increasing virtual connections, point of care and self-care with doctors, nurses, and community-based providers of self-care. This shall be based on a sophisticated central PregCare call center powered by innovative technologies combined with experienced personnel in perinatal management (doctors and nurses/midwives).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume163
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • digital health
  • femtech
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • new technologies
  • point of care
  • pregnancy management

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