Identifying mobile health technology experiences and preferences of low-income pregnant women with diabetes
BACKGROUND: Rapid expansion of mobile technology has resulted in the development of many mobile health ("mHealth") platforms for health monitoring and support. However, applicability, desirability, and tailoring of these platforms for pregnant women, particularly in populations who experience the greatest health inequitiessuch as women with diabetes mellitus (DM) and/or those with greater socioeconomic barriersremains unknown. The objective is to understand low-income pregnant women's experiences and preferences for mHealth tools to support pregnancy and improve DM self-management. METHODS: Low-income pregnant and postpartum women were included in individual interviews or focus groups; women with and without type 2 or gestational DM were included. Analysis was performed with the constant comparison method. RESULTS: In this population of 45 (N=37 with DM) low-income, largely minority, pregnant and postpartum women, 100% reported access to smartphones and prior experience with apps. Interest in mHealth to support health and engagement during pregnancy was high. Preferences for general mHealth features included education that reduces uncertainty, support communities, visualizing progress, convenient access to information, and support for better management of pregnancy-related tasks. Preferred design elements included personalization, interactive features, and integrated graphics. Women with DM expressed multiple additional DM-specific needs, including support tools for DM self-management and self-regulation tasks.