Obstetricians commonly struggle to help women maintain weight gain goals during pregnancy. Mobile health applications on smartphones are widely utilized by patients, and have the potential to transform healthcare delivery through remote monitoring. We developed a mobile health platform that monitors weight through a connected scale and provides feedback through “triggers” if weight is trending out of Institute of Medicine (IOM) Gestational Weight Gain (GWG) guidelines.
We enrolled 30 women from university-affiliated and community outpatient clinic sites. Patients checked their weight weekly during the course of their pregnancy using the mobile platform. We restricted the study to women who were “low-risk,” but had no restriction on BMI. We monitored frequency of use, compliance with reviewing educational in-app material and the number of triggers that showed alteration from IOM GWG guidelines.
Remote digital data collection was successful in all participants. BMI ranged from 17.3–48.5 kg/m2 (average 25.5 kg/m2±6.2). Women checked their weight on average 1.5 times per week. 66% of women maintained weight within IOM guidelines, 33% were above range, none were below range.
In the general population 38.5% of women remain within target weight gain goals during pregnancy, while in our study population, with regular remote monitoring and mobile weight-related education, two-thirds of women remained within the target weight gain goal. The findings suggest a system of remote weight counseling and monitoring in pregnancy may prevent excessive weight gain in pregnancy. This is a pilot study and further investigation is planned.