A remote monitoring smartphone app to help those with gestational diabetes monitor their condition has been given the go-ahead by the NHS.
GDm-Health, which allows the user to maintain secure communication with their healthcare team about their gestational diabetes, will now be included as part of the recommended NHS Digital Tools Library.
GDm-Health is an app that has been designed so pregnant women with gestational diabetes can easily track and store their progress of the condition. The data can then be securely uploaded and stored onto an NHS-based server where the clinical team can review the readings and provide feedback.
If blood sugar control becomes difficult, gestational diabetes can pose a risk to both mother and baby. It is also possible for gestational diabetes to lead to type 2 diabetes, which is why eating well, limiting sugar intake and monitoring the condition during pregnancy can be so important.
At the moment, the more conventional way women are asked to monitor their gestational diabetes involves keeping a handwritten diary and attending regular clinic visits.
Lucy Mackillop, consultant obstetric physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the development of GDm-Health, said the system was created to “help support women manage their gestational diabetes better while reducing the number of hospital visits”
She added: “The system has been evaluated and found to be safe and convenient for women. This system also facilitates more effective and efficient team based care with automated alerting and prioritisation and electronic capture of data for audit.”
The app has been tried and tested by more than 1,000 women and has been shown to help reduce hospital visits by a quarter.
Rachel Crowley, a diabetes specialist midwife at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The GDm-Health system has helped to transform the way we deliver care for women with diabetes in pregnancy.
“It is user-friendly, providing real-time patient data and an additional channel for communicating with them, reducing the time needed to analyse patient data, and generating a secure medical record without having to bring the patient to hospital.
“GDm-Health is a modern tool for modern medicine and has greatly enhanced the way in which we work. Feedback from women using GDm-Health has been very positive. They like to know that their condition is being monitored and appreciate the immediate feedback when their condition requires intervention from a clinician.”