Richard Milani, MD: Connected MOM Program

APRIL 24, 2019
Cecilia Pessoa Gingerich
Over the past few years, Ochsner Health System in New Orleans has introduced digital medicine programs that use apps and at-home devices to allow patients with chronic conditions like hypertension or diabetes to monitor their blood pressure or blood sugar regularly rather than a couple times a year at the doctor’s office.

The innovationOchsner team developed another program, Connected MOM (Maternity Online Monitoring), that provides tools including a scale, blood pressure cuff, and urine protein tests for use at home during pregnancy.

Richard Milani, MD, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Vice Chairman, Cardiology, at Ochsner Health System spoke with MD Magazine® about how this program works and their plans for a similar program for high-risk pregnancies.

“It's been a real positive experience for our moms, not only that we're able to detect preeclampsia sooner than we would have waiting for the next office visit, but we've been able to eliminate a lot of unnecessary visits for women,” said Milani.

In a previous segment, Milani shared about the digital medicine programs created by innovationOchsner for patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension.
 

What is the Connected MOM digital medicine program?

We have another program that's not really involved with chronic disease. It's a wonderful program called Connected MOM and obviously it's a program for the 9 months or the majority of the time that a woman's pregnant.

The program starts off again at the O Bar. It's ordered by their OB. They get a Connected MOM kit where they get a scale, they get a blood pressure cuff, they get a test tube with urine protein test strips, they get an app, they get some booklets and information, and off we go.

For women that go through their standard pregnancy, it's a rather scripted event where at certain time periods we do a sonogram, but at other time periods all we do is check a weight or check a blood pressure. The purpose of that is just to make sure that the expectant mom is not going out of bounds, not developing preeclampsia or there's appropriate growth in the fetus. Those things can be checked from home and—obviously if it's normal—we can eliminate several unnecessary visits where otherwise that's all they would have done during the office visit.

So, it's been a real positive experience for our moms, not only that we're able to detect preeclampsia sooner than we would have waiting for the next office visit, but we've been able to eliminate a lot of unnecessary visits for women. And that's been a real positive experience for them. So, that's our Connected MOM program and now we're expanding that and we're developing a high-risk program for high-risk mothers as well.

How will the program for high-risk pregnancies compare to Connected MOM?

It'll be similar in terms of what we're monitoring, but it'll be a little bit different in terms of—now we're dealing with women that are at riskier stages, so it's always going to be in a more intense level of monitoring. The goal isn't so much to prevent office visits as to be able to catch things much sooner to potentially avoid any issues that may that may befall them.
 

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