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Study: Will wearable devices reduce pregnancy complications?

Technological advances impact every part of our lives. Applications help everything from how we choose a restaurant to how we navigate our commute to the office. These advances even play a role in health care, a role that will continue to grow.

One example of an area that will likely expand its use of technology in the near future: prenatal care. Researchers think a new device could help to tackle the growing problem of maternal mortality rates in the United States. More specifically, the researchers claim wearable technology could help to better ensure a safe labor and delivery.

How could a Fitbit or wearable Apple device help address this problem? Maternal health is a contributing factor to the maternal mortality rate. A wearable device, like a Fitbit or Apple watch, could help to provide data for medical professionals to review during prenatal visits. This data could guide discussions and help the mother and physician discuss the potential need for medical intervention.

This proactive discussion could help to manage a problem before it becomes emergent.

Will this approach work? Researchers with the study state it is currently in the information gathering phase. They are still working out the best way to collect data and may need to make changes to sensors used in the devices.

The discussion serves as a reminder of the importance of prenatal care and medical intervention when physicians discover or should discover certain risk factors. Examples can include gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, eclampsia and other health problems. Physicians can treat many of these health problems during pregnancy and help reduce the risk of issues during labor and delivery.

Medical professionals that do not address these risk factors have likely failed to follow the accepted standard of care in the medical profession. This failure could lead to serious injury or death for the mother and infant. In these cases, the medical professional can be held accountable through a civil lawsuit for their wrongdoing.

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