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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.

A national health crisis

Among developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 1st in maternal mortality

Cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) have increased 200% in last 20 year
17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births
Only developed country to not guarantee access for home visits

Pregnant women of color are at highest risk of adverse outcomes

Black women are 3.4 times more likely to die giving birth compared to white women in the U.S.
Since 2018, Hispanic women have seen a 19% increase in SMM rates
Black and Hispanic women are more likely to have risk factors for SMM

Lack of research and knowledge gaps perpetuate disparities

Pregnant women excluded from medical research
Deep disparities in representation
Variations in care create adverse outcomes and higher costs

Who we are

The PowerMom consortium is working to realize the promise for clinical advancements by advancing research to address the high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S.

At the heart of the consortium is the PowerMom app-based research platform and the PowerMom study.

The PowerMom study is led by Dr. Tolúwalàṣé (Laṣé) Ajayi, MD FAA. She is supported by a clinical advisory team of obstetricians and a participant advisory board. Study recruitment and management is conducted by the Scripps Research Digital Trials Center team who has extensive expertise in coordinating and administering large-scale national research efforts, including the All of Us Research Program, and DETECT.

The PowerMom study and sub studies are approved by the Scripps Research Institutional Review Board (IRB). PowerMom is hosted on CareEvolution’s MyDataHelps™ which has undergone rigorous assessment and evaluation to ensure it meets stringent security to protect sensitive data.

Consortium members

March of Dimes
Mae
Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance
Microsoft
Woebot Health
African American Wellness Center
CareEvolution
WebMD
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Philips
Medscape
Sharecare
Walgreens

Additional support comes from Fitbit/Google Health and United Health Group.

The PowerMom research platform

The PowerMom observational study collects participant data – gathered through surveys, electronic health records (from 870+ Health Systems) and a wide range of sensors with the aim of better understanding individual variation across all pregnancies and their impact on maternal and fetal health.

As the PowerMom cohort grows, the research platform will enable dozens of sub studies across a number of conditions. Current sub-studies include PowerMom-FIRST (racism) and PowerMom-Connect (postpartum mental health).

We are now accepting applications for additional maternal health research studies launching in 2023.

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Get involved

We are actively seeking partnership and funding to support outreach and growth of our maternal health research.

Join the PowerMom study

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Partnership opportunities

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