Summer 2017: MomSupport

Early Identification and Response for Postpartum Depression in High Risk Women
Natalie Feldman

Natalie Feldman, Fourth Year Medical Student, The University of Chicago

What’s MomSupport?

An app to identify Postpartum Depression in high risk women and (if needed) to offer immediate emergency help.

The Problem

In low-resource areas like the South Side, women with Postpartum Depression (PPD) are underdiagnosed and undertreated. PPD screening is inconsistent; since it is not diagnosed until the patient displays more than 2 weeks of symptoms, women with inadequate support systems are barriers to care and are at higher risk both of developing PPD and of being lost to postpartum followup before screening can be effective. In extreme situations, these cases can become emergencies.  MomSupport could be a better way to follow up with women at high risk of PPD, prevent loss-to-followup, and provide easy and immediate access to resources in urgent or emergent situations.

A Solution

A mobile app for at-risk new mothers that will provide the following key functions:

  • It will ask women about their emotions and possible symptoms at least once a week, using a validated scale for PPD
  • It will provide clinicians with the ability to track patients’ progress earlier, more regularly, and more frequently than the 6 week postpartum visit
  • If a patient scores too high, an alert will be sent to the patient’s physician that the patient has signs of PPD. The patient will also receive a pop-up message with advice and links to resources, including a link to directly message their doctor asking for help (with the option to use a pre-programmed message, further lowering the actions that a patient must take in order to get help)
  • If a patient scores too high, the patient will receive a pop-up message with advice and links to resources, including a link to contact their doctor asking for help (with the option to use a pre-programmed message, further lowering the actions that a patient must take in order to get help)

 

About Natalie

Natalie Feldman is a rising fourth year medical student at The University of Chicago. She has done research on Bipolar Disorder and the intersection of primary care and psychiatric care. She is listed on multiple publications, including one as first author; she contributed text to the DSM 5, and her research informed the GME curriculum for Internal Medicine residents at UCMC. She also worked part-time in 2012 as a consultant for a mobile healthcare startup, BetterFit.

I am a medical student with experience in psychiatric research and patient care and a passionate interest in medical education and women’s psychiatry.

How does the App Challenge help with this great idea?

App Challenge developers will build a research-ready iOS app capable of administering weekly post partum depression questionnaires to new mothers and timely resources to depression help.

How does this support UChicago's research mission?

This project is a response to a need observed during my clinical rotations; it is a direct product of UChicago’s support for research and teaching. I plan to do future research about the outcomes and effectiveness of this method of tracking and intervention, which could inform future interventions for PPD and future indications for mobile healthcare adjuncts.