A consortium advancing research into maternal health
Maternal health in the United States is in a state of crisis, ranking first in maternal mortality among developed nations. Despite global maternal mortality decreasing over the course of the last few decades, in the United States the rate has been increasing, with 63% of these pregnancy-related deaths being preventable.
Despite these troubling trends, pregnant women are one of the least studied groups, largely excluded from most clinical research. The lack of clinical research has resulted in significant knowledge gaps in maternal health.
The PowerMom consortium brings together organizations from a broad spectrum of sectors—from health and technology companies to advocacy groups and community health centers—to advance research into maternal health.
Tapping into the ubiquity of smartphones and improving broadband access, the PowerMom team has developed an app-based research platform that engages pregnant people in the voluntary collection of health data through surveys, electronic health records and wearables such as fitness trackers and smartwatches – with the aim of better understanding individual variation across all pregnancies and their impact on maternal and fetal health. As the availability and ease of use of different digital medicine technologies continues to expand, the research platform will add studies to track a growing array of conditions including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and peripartum depression.
Building a large and diverse community of pregnant people will allow scientists to shed light on the unique characteristics that contribute to healthy pregnancies.