SafetyNEST: Transforming prenatal care for healthier, toxic free babies

Alexandra Destler alexandra@mysafetynest.org

Abstract

SafetyNEST’s ‘big idea’ is to transform prenatal care by equipping health providers and every pregnant woman with a one-stop, highly engaging, and personalized health education toolkit designed to reduce toxic chemical exposures in the workplace and at home. SafetyNEST’s Connected Care model links a health care system with its providers and pregnant patients in a shared prevention strategy powered by SafetyNEST for healthier outcomes. The platform is a centralized hub for reproductive health care professionals and pregnant women to engage, learn, track, and share content that’s easy to access and highly relevant. The platform will deliver content via the web, mobile devices, and printed resources that are distributed through health professionals and promoted with strategic alliances and social media.
SafetyNEST’s minimum viable product (MVP) presents a virtual home simulation that invites pregnant women to navigate through common spaces and learn how to reduce their exposure to chemicals and promote healthy living environments in each setting. The simulation is coupled with easy-to-use messages and resources about reducing exposures. In partnership with UCSF Program on Reproductive Health & the Environment (PRHE), 50 pregnant women were successfully recruited to participate in testing the MVP from May 2016 – September 2016. Among the most informative findings from the MVP testing:
- More than 90% of women who tried the SafetyNEST MVP found the site to be “easy” or “very easy” to use, and rated it “helpful” or “very helpful.”
- 95% reported an increase in their awareness of these issues.
- Between the time they reviewed the site and the time they took the survey, more than half of the respondents reported having already made concrete changes to their behavior.
- All pregnant women said they’d like their provider to start a discussion with them about mitigating exposure to toxic chemicals.
Given SafetyNEST’s focus on educating pregnant women and equipping health providers with evidence-based tools to counsel patients about reducing exposures, we were very intrigued by survey results indicating an interest in having health providers start a discussion about toxic chemical exposure. SafetyNEST is currently testing the Connected Care model with reproductive health providers and senior leadership at UCSF, Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente in California. Our goal is to secure a partnership with a leading health care system with whom to further build, pilot and launch SafetyNEST for market ready adoption. SafetyNEST will plan to introduce the Stanford MedicineX community to the Connected Care model and present findings from testing our MVP in partnership with UCSF. We will also demonstrate the potential of our product-in-progress as a prevention strategy to strengthen prenatal care – and preconception education – for healthier, toxic free babies.
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