Gestational diabetes occurs because of high blood sugar levels that develop during pregnancy, and the condition affects one in five pregnant women in Singapore – one of the highest rates in the world.
Doctors at the National University Hospital (NUH) came up with a mobile app that allows pregnant women with gestational diabetes to track their weight and blood glucose levels. The app was jointly developed by NUH, medical technology firm Jana Care and the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. The pregnant women involved in clinical trials using the app will be given a device that reads blood glucose test strips. The readings can be synced to the app, which also reads the weighing scale. The app can also track food intake and exercise, and comes with information on gestational diabetes as well as a robotic health coach, which prompts the women when their blood glucose levels are high or low, or when weight is gained too quickly.
Dr. Yew Tong Wei, a consultant at NUH’s division of endocrinology and principal investigator of the study, said women with gestational diabetes currently review their blood glucose readings only when they visit a doctor, typically once every two weeks, or monthly. “They just accumulate a month of readings, they come, and by then they have forgotten what might have caused a high reading. This app gives immediate feedback on the scores,” he said.