iOS app may help stem premature baby delivery scenario

King's College London has developed an iOS app, QUiPP, to help better identify a premature baby delivery event. The software, tested in two studies, performed well for predicting risks and indicating the potential of early delivery among women experiencing labor symptoms. Researchers believe the app will be useful for estimating probability of premature delivery and for customizing clinical management.

"Despite advances in prenatal care, the rate of preterm birth has never been higher in recent years, including in the U.S. and U.K., so doctors need reliable ways of predicting whether a woman is at risk of giving birth early," Andrew Shennan, lead study author and professor of obstetrics at King's College London and consultant obstetrician at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, says in an announcement.

Still, the researchers recommend further investigation to evaluate the model in practice, and to determine if interventions will improve the pregnancy outcome.

"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 says. Announcement