Pregnancy app developer sees 80 percent monthly retention in Medicaid recipients

By Aditi Pai
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WYhealth Due Date PlusFour months after pregnancy tracking app developer Wildflower Health launched a program for Wyoming Medicaid beneficiaries, the startup reported that nearly 70 percent of enrollees are using the app's main features. The app's monthly retention rates are at 80 percent.

Wildflower Health has reached close to one third of estimated Medicaid pregnancies in Wyoming.

In Wyoming, the app used is offered through the Wyoming Department of Health’s program “WYhealth Get Plugged In”, which is sponsored by Xerox. The app, Due Date Plus, helps women keep track of their pregnancy with reminders, weekly ultrasound videos that show how the baby is supposed to look at each stage of the pregnancy, and daily advice. Women can get the app on iOS or Android devices.

If women have a more immediate question, the app is connected to a free 24-7 nurse line, so they can talk to WYhealth staff. Otherwise, they can look up a local Best Beginnings program, a community-based system of perinatal services. The  app also collects data that can be shared with care managers and nurses. Only women who are in the Wyoming Medicaid program can get these additional features. A lite version exists for any woman to use the app, but that version does not have the nurse hotline.

"Part of the reason we've seen early success is [that] the Xerox Case Managers in Wyoming who work with pregnant women on a daily basis are an incredibly skilled and committed group," Wildflower Health CEO and Cofounder Leah Sparks told MobiHealthNews in an email. "They've been instrumental in program adoption, reaching out to Medicaid recipients directly. It is great to see this two-way system where we can refer women to case managers, and the case managers can refer women to Due Date Plus for ongoing support."

Wildflower is planning to launch clients, including large health plans and self-insured employers. Eventually, Wildflower plans to launch programs that help guide a mother through her child's first full year of life.

"This is the power of being integrated into the healthcare system, where we are building a data-driven picture of an entire pregnancy - from program usage throughout the 9-months and then outcomes and costs that show up as medical claims in the system," Sparks said. "This includes the health and wellness of the babies born to women who use our program. For example, 'did they require neonatal support or any further care as a result of pregnancy complications?' That's ultimately a big part of what we're trying to impact."

Wildflower Health was also part of a Rock Health class, which had its demo day in February 2013. The startup raised $1.7 million at the end of 2013 from KMG Capital Partners, Cambia Health and HealthTech Capital. It also received $100,000 in seed funding from Rock Health at the end of 2012.