Colorado birth center pilots Mayo Clinic telemedicine program

Bloomin' Babies Birth Center in Grand Junction, Colo., recently launched a pilot of a telehealth program developed by Mayo Clinic that allows pregnant patients to have some of their appointments done virtually, according to a Jan. 22 The Daily Sentinel report.

Through the program, expectant mothers with low-risk pregnancies have the option to complete four to seven of a typical 12-14 prenatal appointments completed through video chat with a nurse. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic does prevent certain patients from participating, such as individuals who had a previous pregnancy in which she delivered prior to 37 weeks, according to the report.

Bloomin Babies' allows program participants to borrow a fetal heart doppler, transducer gel, tape measure and digital blood pressure cuff so the patients can take their own measurements and relay the information to their nurse during virtual appointments.

The birth center started the pilot last month in the hopes of alleviating the issue of harsh driving conditions during winter weather. Around 14 percent of Bloomin Babies' patients travel an hour or longer to their appointments, according to the report.

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