The most common complication faced by pregnant women during delivery is preterm birth. Now a mobile application can help in predicting risk of delivering prematurely among women.
Researchers from the King's College London have developed an app called "QuiPP". The app uses an algorithm that combines the gestation of previous pregnancies and the length of the cervix with levels of fetal fibronectin to classify a woman's risk.
"Despite advances in prenatal care the rate of preterm birth has never been higher in recent years, including in the US and UK, so doctors need reliable ways of predicting whether a woman is at risk of giving birth early. It can be difficult to accurately assess a woman's risk, given that many women who show symptoms of preterm labor do not go on to deliver early," said Dr. Andrew Shennan, lead author, Professor of Obstetrics at King's College London.
The estimated probability of delivery before 30, 34 or 37 weeks' gestation and within two or four weeks of testing for fetal fibronectin was calculated for each patient and analyzed as a predictive test for the actual occurrence of each event.
In the second study, data from 382 high-risk women was collected and the model was developed for the first 190 women and validated on the remaining 192. In both the studies, the app was found to be accurate in predicting preterm risk.
"The more accurately we can predict her risk, the better we can manage a woman's pregnancy to ensure the safest possible birth for her and her baby, only intervening when necessary to admit these 'higher risk' women to hospital, prescribe steroids or offer other treatments to try to prevent an early birth," Shennan added.