Babyscripts, a leading virtual care platform for managing obstetrics, has announced the release of a first-of-its-kind product for real-time remote monitoring of maternal mental health, facilitated by a care provider. The product will be beta tested at several customer sites, including George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA), prior to its official launch. This is the most recent collaboration between Babyscripts and GW MFA, a long-time research and development partner of the company.
Babyscripts’ remote monitoring for maternal mental health is the first obstetrics point-of-care product on the market to remotely monitor and address mental health issues in the pregnancy and postpartum period, and fills a significant gap in the pregnancy and postpartum space. Barriers, including stigma, have prevented mothers from speaking out about mental health issues and accessing necessary resources and care. Babyscripts’ new product offers mothers a safe and convenient way to assess their mental state and access solutions, connects them to their care team and provider when they report concerning symptoms, and provides mothers with mental health education and exercises for meditation and mindfulness.
In conjunction with beta-testing, GW MFA will gather data around the efficacy of Babyscripts’ Maternal Mental Health solution in a focused research study. The so-termed MIND study (Mobile Assessments to Improve Screening and Novel Patient Engagement to Diagnose and Manage Maternal Mental Health) will include inquiries around access to care, white coat syndrome, and care coordination to assess the effectiveness of Babyscripts’ remote patient monitoring tools toward providing equitable care for diverse populations.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans who need mental health care do not receive it, and mothers and new mothers are particularly vulnerable to this failure to receive treatment, partially because prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety is severely underidentified, underreported and underdiagnosed. Traditional safety nets for these women have been compromised by the pandemic, making remote solutions more critical than ever.
“Mental health issues have been a problem in the pregnancy space for years, but it really took a pandemic to get attention on them,” said Anish Sebastian, CEO and co-founder of Babyscripts. “We’ve leveraged our existing system to develop real time solutions for mental health risks, and we’re seeing a ton of support and desire from health systems to get these resources to their pregnant patients.”
“Mental health can easily slip through the cracks in an OB appointment,” said Dr. Kathryn Marko, Ob/Gyn at GW MFA. “It’s difficult to diagnose and identify in the space of an appointment, and due to stigma and other barriers, mothers are not always forthcoming about their mental health struggles. We believe that technology delivered in the comfort and security of a patient’s home, that connects them directly to resources and identifies emerging symptoms in real time, has the potential to close these gaps in care.”
Babyscripts has spent the last six years building a clinically-validated, virtual care platform to allow OBGYNs to deliver a new model of prenatal care. Using internet-connected devices for remote monitoring, Babyscripts offers risk-specific experiences to allow providers to manage up to 90% of pregnancies virtually, allowing doctors to detect risk more quickly and automate elements of care.