PIERS on the move: Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk assessment on a mobile phone

The University of British Columbia
Organization Location: 
Vancouver, BC Canada

There is an urgent need for low-cost, easy-to-use tools that can accurately predict adverse outcomes associated with pre-eclampsia (a major cause of maternal and perinatal mortality). We will develop a mobile phone application to be used by community health workers in rural, low-resource settings that a) provides local, rapid and accurate risk assessment, referral, and treatment advice for pre-eclampsia, and b) transmits information to referral centers for coordination of triage, transportation and treatment.

This daring technological solution integrates two separate previously successful innovations: a predictive score and a Phone Oximeter, to overcome the barriers produced by a lack of skills, distance and resources. The prediction of adverse maternal outcomes in pre-eclampsia is based on symptoms and clinical signs, including a low blood oxygen saturation level that can be measured with the Phone Oximeter. By combining these innovations in a mobile phone application, we will make them immediately available in rural, low-resource community settings.

By harnessing the processing and battery power of the phone and widespread availability of cellular services in Africa, we will empower community health workers to rapidly and reliably assess a patient’s risk of pre-eclampsia in real-time, and to take action before complications arise. We will work directly with users in middle and low income settings in Africa to develop and evaluate this mobile application. The accessibility, affordability, and portability of this tool will facilitate its widespread uptake at the community level, which will dramatically reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates in these settings.

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