GDm-Health™ is a digital therapeutic comprising of a smartphone app connected to a wireless blood glucose monitor, which helps mothers-to-be and their clinical care teams manage diabetes during pregnancy. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 5% of pregnant women in England and Wales have some form of diabetes. If this is not monitored or managed effectively, it can cause serious problems for both the child and mother.
In its efforts to continuously improve clinical care for mums-to-be, Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust selected GDm-Health™ as a digital platform offering a modern and efficient approach to providing care to pregnant women with diabetes.
In January 2019, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust implemented GDm-Health as part of its maternity service. Since then, women with gestational diabetes have been enrolled on to the system and trained on how to use the app and meter.
GDm-Health has digitised how the Trust monitors women’s health during pregnancy. Patients are now able to track their blood glucose levels from the comfort of their own homes, whilst midwives and clinicians can monitor their patients’ conditions remotely in near real-time, and prioritise care to those women in greatest need. Prior to GDm-Health, patients recorded their readings and dietary information in a paper diary which would be reviewed at clinic appointments and required telephone consultations to discuss blood glucose results between appointments.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant it was necessary for the maternity diabetes team to change working practices to reduce hospital visits when safe to do so. GDm-Health was at the heart of this change. Training and set-up is now entirely remote and the team are able to instruct women at low risk to stay at home, reassured in the knowledge they can use the system to remotely monitor blood glucose levels and intervene quickly if necessary.
The clinician’s dashboard in GDm-Health helps the team identify out-of-threshold blood glucose levels promptly and get treatment arranged quickly. For the team at Shrewsbury & Telford these benefits represent improvements in the clinical care they can provide to pregnant women with diabetes.
The app has also delivered significant efficiencies and process improvements. For example, midwives and doctors can now review readings and make any treatment adjustments remotely, in many cases without the need for a separate appointment between scheduled scans. As well as reducing the number of hospital visits for some women, this also means that valuable appointment time can be focused more on each woman’s clinical needs.
With the implementation of GDm-Health, the Trust has seen high levels of positive feedback from women who report they feel more supported and reassured despite less frequent visits to the hospital. 97% of app users providing feedback believed that the diabetes team knew enough about their level of diabetes control.
“With GDm-Health we are able to easily see the women that need treatment, and then provide that treatment faster than before. Our women feel reassured, knowing they are being monitored between hospital visits and updating us daily through the app.
With the help of GDm-Health, more of our women were able to stay at home during the pandemic, and as a team we’ve been confident that we could still deliver the care they need. I’m excited to see more remote monitoring tools such as GDm-Health become part of our day-to-day practice to provide the best healthcare we can to our patients in a post-COVID world.”
Sarah Davies, Lead Diabetes Midwife at The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust
GDm-Health is now available in 44 NHS Trusts across England, covering nearly half of all pregnancies in England. Since its launch over 14,000 pregnant women have benefitted from using GDm-Health, and there are over 2500 weekly active users. Between April and June 2020, the system was offered free to the NHS for 12 months in response to the Coronavirus outbreak helping the NHS provide remote care for more pregnant women during this critical time and reducing hospital visits for this high-risk group.