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Hospital program for pregnant women models ‘O Bar’ after Apple’s Genius Bar and gives out HealthKit smart devices

A new program called Connected Maternity Online Monitoring (MOM) at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans is seeing success with giving smart health monitoring devices to pregnant women. Notably, the O Bar which gets patients set up with devices free of charge was modeled after Apple’s Genius Bar and the program is set up to work with HealthKit.

As reported by CNBC, Ochsner Hospital’s Connected MOM program offers expecting mothers devices like smart scales, blood pressure monitors, and activity trackers. Specifics on what models weren’t shared, but they are compatible with Apple’s HealthKit platform. The report tells the story of one patient, Lisettte Hatamian, who decided to give the new program a try.

Hatamian was intrigued and agreed to sign up. After her first visit with an obstetrician, she went over to the Ochsner “O Bar,” a part of the hospital modeled on the Apple Genius Bar. But instead of iPhones, the technologies on display included connected weight scales, blood pressure monitors and activity trackers.

pregnant women Apple HealthKit

Ochsner’s electronic medical record system supports Apple’s Health Records so doctors can easily review data of Connected MOM patients. There’s also an easy way for patients to communicate with doctors via Ochsner’s app.

Throughout her pregnancy, she took readings of her weight and blood pressure about once or twice a week. If she forgot, her iPhone reminded her. The devices sent the readings to HealthKit, a secure container for storing medical data on her iPhone.

The program has shown benefits for both the hospital and patients. For doctors, the Connected MOM program has reduced in-person appointments by up to 30%. On the patient side, it means less time away from work.

“[My doctors] told me they’d look at all my readings and if something stood out, I’d get a phone call,” she said. But so far, Hatamian’s results have all been normal, so she’ll skip three appointments out of the usual 14. That saves her from having to take time off from her job.

Ochsner just recently signed up its 1,000th patient for the Connected MOM program. The next evolution of the initiative will be to offer enrollment to higher risk patients.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.