Tech Piece

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July 5, 2024
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Women’s health is one of the most significant medical specialties covering a vast range of services and age ranges. One of the most intense being obstetrics and labor and delivery. 

As we all know, this particular service line is not a ‘one and done’ offering. And consistent, monitored care is needed for nearly 2 years (including pregnancy and postpartum). However, the extra care these patients need and deserve is not integrated into any typical pathway and thus their overworked doctors need to do something about it–make a referral, send for more tests, interpret data quickly, pivot treatment plans, the list goes on. But providers are spread thin. And with the global maternity payment so low, it’s near impossible to offer comprehensive correlating services easily or efficiently. Providers are asked to see more patients, more quickly. More, more. They just cannot keep up.

Overburdened providers can’t keep up. Families and health systems lose. 

So what happens? This inability to quickly connect each patient to the correlating care they need–think behavioral health, lactation, cardiology, etc. slows the system down. Care is disrupted or not given. Women go without proper monitoring or follow up. 

Here are some staggering examples of what could happen: A newly published study by JAMA Internal Medicine said women who experienced “adverse pregnancy outcomes” also experienced an increased mortality rate that remained elevated nearly 40 years later. They listed some of these adverse outcomes as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. The national rate for gestational diabetes alone has been increasing year over year, up to over 8% in 2021. The same goes for preeclampsia, experienced by 5% to 7% of pregnant persons. Thyroiditis, a serious postpartum condition, affects 5% of moms and if left untreated can lead to early menopause, mood swings and weight gain. But it can also lead to mental and emotional disorders causing an inability to think and/or depression. And let’s not forget postpartum depression affecting 1 in 7 of new parents.

All of these have serious downstream effects of course on the families, but on providers and health systems as well.  Because of that insanely low reimbursement, little postpartum care occurs to screen, manage, and support these in the first place resulting in over $5,000 of additional costs. Not to mention the extra strain on systems and providers to treat and care for emergency situations. Preventing and treating before it gets worse, makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it? 

What about changing the system? 

Technology innovation is everywhere, but you scarcely find it within Women’s health. Because if you can’t make money with this service line, not many pay attention. But what if innovating workflows or technology to completely redesign its clunky and archaic structures could save lives, increase providers productivity and actually decrease expenses?

We recently learned that wearable pumps own 30% of the breast pump market. There are several different manufacturers that now solely create pumps that can fit within a lactating parent’s bra. Hands-free milk expression–truthfully unheard of about 10 years ago. But now, they are affordable, popular and may be in fact increasing breastfeeding rates. Designed knowing that to help families meet feeding goals they needed options. What if we took that same concept into a healthcare delivery model. Where instead of trying to fit a complex care pathway into a simple 100-year-old round hole. We just … changed the system all together? 

There is technology that can streamline care for these overburdened providers. Technology that can connect a brick and mortar experience to a virtual one instantaneously. Technology that can in fact change a typical referral process of searching and clicking, to almost searching and clicking for you. But we need administrators to lean in.

So what is the solution?

We’ve developed a Maternal Health Operating System that clients can use to automatically send their patients to pregnancy and postpartum virtual monitoring and care–and it’s layered into the care experience they already provide. It doesn’t just stop at easy referring, it can in fact mold and change with each specific clinic or system. Designed to be as integrated as each provider wants it to be, without overwhelming with more data and information. Our tailored, white-labled technology can actually improve outcomes for families, increase engagement, reduce friction and eliminate provider burden.

Here’s how:

Conclusion 

What it can look like is easy.  No matter the electronic medical record in use, our technology acts as a compliant plug-in. Nothing changes in a provider's day-to-day use except more time to treat and care for patients. And that's the design.

We understand that providers want to simply provide care, and not spend time weighing through endless documents. At SimpliFed we take away the burn from overworked teams and manage it so they don’t have to. 

Innovative technology that actually adds the human touch back into healthcare. Novel idea, isn’t?