Our clinical research team, led by our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Wolfberg, is constantly working on research to improve women's healthcare and health outcomes for women and families. As a company, we know that to truly create healthier and happier women and families, we need to constantly be looking for ways to improve the healthcare system and provide better support for women throughout their reproductive health journeys.
One of the areas that our clinical research team focuses on is preventing high-risk pregnancies. The team presented four abstracts that highlighted their innovative research on improving health outcomes for pregnant women at the 2019 annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Nashville, TN.
Two abstracts focused on machine learning models that are able to detect the risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery. The preeclampsia detection model included data points such as exercise, health symptoms, and blood pressure readings, and had a positive predictive value of 75% and a sensitivity of 37% (which means it was very successful in identifying those at risk for preeclampsia!). When the model was adjusted to reduce the positive predictive value down to 65%, the sensitivity increased to 79%.
The preterm delivery risk model had a positive predictive value of 75% and a sensitivity of 41%. The data points most influential to the model included health symptoms; whether the pregnancy was a single or multiple gestation; the frequency and type of healthcare appointments scheduled; personal health history information; and demographic information including age and BMI.
Preeclampsia and premature birth are two of the most devastating results of pregnancy. These machine learning models can be leveraged as a cost-effective way to significantly improve clinical outcomes and save lives.
The other abstracts presented aimed to better understand barriers to receiving lifesaving treatments. While many preterm deliveries happen spontaneously, there are several known risk factors, such as carrying multiples or a history of preterm delivery. There are also interventions that can be applied to reduce the risk of delivering preterm — namely universal cervical length measurement and progesterone prescription and compliance. Ovia Health deploys these interventions in our Preterm Avoidance Clinical Programs.
Among a sample of more than 2,000 women, 63% reported that their provider had not measured their cervical length. When asked what the greatest barrier to cervical length measurement was, women reported that their provider had not mentioned it and they were uncomfortable raising the topic themselves. For progesterone access, the barriers to obtaining a prescription among women who are indicated for its use were: 1) disbelief in the efficacy of the medication; 2) concerns about cost or coverage; and 3) discomfort discussing a prescription with their provider.
Significant evidence has shown that daily low-dose aspirin taken by women with cardiovascular risk factors can reduce the chance of developing preeclampsia. When asked whether low-dose aspirin is safe during pregnancy, only 19% of women agreed. Less than half of pregnant women reported that they would take a medication recommended by their healthcare provider without any hesitation.
This research by our clinical team shows that providers are not offering certain screenings and treatments as often as they need to be, and that patients are apprehensive about suggested treatments, regardless of their proven efficacy. In order for patients to get the care and services they need, they need to be better educated about the importance of self-advocacy and the efficacy of these lifesaving interventions. This is also how Ovia Health is able to help prevent and reduce high risk pregnancies. By providing daily education, clinical programming, predictive coaching and personalized critical alerts, Ovia is able to increase awareness about certain screenings and treatments, and help identify risk and intervene early.
Ovia Health’s maternity and family benefits solution is the #1 health product for women and families. Learn how Ovia Health can help you meet the needs of this new generation.
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