June 1, 2018
QUiPP app predicts preterm birth to reduce unnecessary treatment
A new app that can help predict if a woman is going to give birth prematurely could reduce unnecessary treatment and hospital admissions.
Current guidelines advise treating all women 30 weeks pregnant and under who present symptoms of threatened preterm labour, even though many will not go on to deliver early.
Researchers from Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College London developed the QUiPP app to help healthcare professionals identify and treat those women who are more likely to give birth prematurely.
The app calculates the risk of premature birth using an algorithm that assesses factors including a history of previous premature births, a cervical length measurement and level of fetal fibronectin.
Two previous clinical trials have shown that the app is an accurate tool for predicting preterm birth within seven days.
The new EQUIPTT study (Evaluation of QUiPP app for triage and transfer) has been launched at 13 obstetric centres across the UK – seven will use the app and six will not.
It aims to recruit 580 women over the next 12 months to look at whether the QUiPP app can reduce the number of women with symptoms of threatened preterm labour, most of whom will not actually go on to deliver their babies within seven days, being unnecessarily admitted to hospital and given medical interventions.
The EQUIPTT study and the QUiPP app both received funding from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. The National Institute for Health Research, Tommy's Charity and the King's College London Lion's Den Health Innovation Prize also helped fund development of the app.