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2 Your Well-Being: Cone Health App Helps Moms Deliver Healthy Babies

In this week's 2 Your Well-being segment, WFMY News 2's Tracey McCain shows you how an app is flagging potential problems keeping mom and baby safe.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — You trust apps to help you manage your weight, organize your life, and get you from point A to point B, but Cone Health is taking the technology even further, developing an app to help pregnant mothers deliver healthy babies.

The app has helped moms like Brooks Ann McKinney.

"She was a miracle baby for me and our family," said McKinney.

Just over a year ago, doctors told her motherhood was not an option.

"It was going to be really hard for me to have children due to my fibroids," said McKinney.  "I was a high-risk pregnancy and just had a lot of complications."

So, when she learned she was pregnant, she wanted everything to go right. But the problems didn't stop with fibroids.

"I found out I had gestational diabetes the day before Thanksgiving so it was pretty devastating at the time so that was just another thing to add to it."

Enter the Babyscripts App.

It allows expecting mothers to track their weight, blood pressure, and blood sugars all through an app connected directly to their Cone Health doctor's office.

"The blood pressure is transmitted automatically so they take their blood pressure it goes directly into their phone and then into the secure warehouse where it is monitored," said Dr. Kelly Leggett.  "It's sent directly to their electronic record in my office." 

Dr. Legget is a practicing OBGYN with Cone Health and also serves as Chief Clinical Transformation Officer.  She helped develop the high-risk portion of the Cone Health Babyscripts App.

The user-friendly app flags for symptoms including high blood pressure or hypertension in pregnancy which could lead to pre-eclampsia and serious if not deadly consequences for mom and baby.

When a flag goes up, doctors are notified right away.

"Diabetes can be a very hard disease to manage and we take some of that burden off the patient, so they don't have to write things in a log or put that in their purse.  No woman forgets their phone, right?  So, it's all right there if they need it in their phone and if they forget their phone its already in a database which is being monitored by a physician," said Leggett.

When moms-to-be enroll, they receive a blood pressure cuff and for high-risk moms like McKinney, a glucose monitor to take their blood sugars at home.

"I would prick my finger and measure it with the glucometer, then I would get on the app," said McKinney.

"When I found out about the app, it was an answer to prayer because I could have an easy way to track my glucose numbers and make sure my sugar levels stayed correct."

Cone Health is the first provider in North Carolina to use it.

"It's just the faculty practice with Cone Health.  We do about 3,000 deliveries a year and about 2,200 of our patients are on this application," said Leggett.

Along with tracking your health, it provides moms-to-be with information about what to expect during each stage of pregnancy

But perhaps this little nugget will make you swipe through the app.

"With all of that information, we can decrease your visits from 13 to 9," said Leggett.

For McKinney, the fewer visits were a bonus, but welcoming her sweet and healthy miracle baby was the best reward.

Up next, Dr. Leggett is co-innovating another application for post-partum and hypertension management. 

Any moms-to-be who are interested in using the app should get more information from their Cone Health doctor's office.