A Smart phone based application for early detection of pregnancy complications in Kenya
Lack of adequate information and timely response to pregnancy complications during prenatal care is a major cause of maternal mortality in Kenya. More women are dying from pregnancy and childbirth related causes such as pre-eclampsia, obstructed labor, infections, hemorrhage and high blood pressure. New expectant mothers usually face a lot of problems in seeking professional medical advice on trivial issues which they face at different stages of pregnancy. This is because of the delay in detecting risks before pregnancy, hence affecting correct and timely decision making which is at certain times crucial and could lead to preventable deaths. The discipline of mhealth has been gaining ground as mobile device penetration rates grow rapidly, increasingly prompted by plunging hardware and cellphone usage costs. This has led to development of mhealth applications for text and appointment reminders and as such mobile phones present a unique opportunity to provide, a multilingual communication that is easily delivered between an expectant mother and a health care provider.In this study, we propose an expert system incorporated on a mobile phone to detect complications for expectant mothers in pregnancy. The system determines whether a mother has maternal risks and recommends prenatal care advice based on the condition of the expectant mother.The application was sent online to 15 mothers in Nairobi County. They were sent installation instructions and guided on how to use it. The application was able to give sixty percent correct prediction on the mother’s state. The respondents determined that using a mobile phone to assist in early detection of risks at birth gave correct prediction ensuring the expectant mothers were able to seek medical attention.