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New Mobile App Helps Providers Prevent Life-threatening Infections in Newborns

Categories: Innovative Labs, Public Health Partners

The phrase, “…time is of the essence,” often rings true when working to protect people from health threats. It is especially true when caring for infants.  CDC launched a new app—Prevent Group B Strep (GBS) — in October 2013 created specifically for busy health care providers on the go.

Each year about 1,200 infants less than 1 week old get early-onset group B strep disease in the United States. Group B Streptococcus bacteria, or GBS, are a leading cause of infection and death within the first week of life. These bacteria can cause life-threating infections, such as sepsis (infection of the blood), pneumonia (infection in the lungs), and meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain).

With the touch of a fingertip, CDC’s app aims to provide patient- and scenario-specific guidance consistent with the 2010 Guidelines for the Prevention of Perinatal GBS Disease. As of January 31, 2013, the app had been downloaded more than 6,000 times.

This app, which was developed by CDC with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, simplifies the screening process of interpreting the guidelines. The app asks obstetric and neonatal providers to answer a series of simple questions about their patients. Based on the responses, health care providers obtain patient-specific GBS prevention recommendations within seconds. Additionally, the app provides patient-specific recommendations for the appropriate choice of antibiotic for pregnant women, an area of the GBS guidelines that does not always get correctly implemented. Using the right antibiotic is critical, especially in an era of antibiotic resistance. (Left photo: Screenshot of the Prevent Group B Strep app.)

“Our team’s goal in developing ‘Prevent Group B Strep’ was to give obstetric and neonatal providers a quick and convenient way to obtain evidence-based management recommendations for each patient at the bedside,” said CDC epidemiologist, Jonathan Wortham, M.D. “We hope the app will enhance implementation of the GBS guidelines and ultimately help more babies get a healthy start.”

This app is another way CDC is using technology to provide life-saving information 24/7. Download “Prevent Group B Strep” free from the CDC iTunes App Store or Google Play.

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