WELLBABY-A NEW SMART PHONE APPLICATION FOR EARLY
The objective of this study is to compare the preliminary findings of the data
coming from wellbaby app, a new smart phone application with its original
version, SCASI (Social Communication Area Screening for Infants and Young
Children) and highlighting the efficacy of wellbaby app. Developmental delays
are seriously under-identified in infancy (1),(2). Screenings and interventions
can be limited in circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic or other
situations where families have limited access to health care or just lack the
awareness of its need (4). Use of technology such as mobile application
platforms can serve families with suitable services (5). Crowdsourced studies,
smartphone health applications and personal health records to achieve positive
outcomes for a variety of health conditions are a growing concept and becoming
a part of the public health ecosystem (6),(7).
“wellbaby.developmentofmybaby” is a newly developed smart phone
application. It is a parent completed early intervention tool via electronic
platforms. Its software is developed from the analysis of SCASI developmental
screening test. SCASI is a parent-reported developmental screening test for
infants between 6 and 24 months of age (2). SCASI is currently under use by
pediatricians and other clinicians to identify children at risk for developmental
problems and plan further intervention programs. Wellbaby app automatically
scores the answers of the registered parent thus decreases the barriers related to
clinician training and time to score and has the advantage of reaching broader
community settings via internet access. Well baby app includes screening
questions, educational program and age specific recommendations. The result of
the screening test informs parent whether the child’s development is within
“normal (green)”, “at risk (yellow)” or “need urgent action (red)” range. Every
parent can also access educational plan for “at risk” items.
Well baby app is launched in 2018 and has 4731 registered users. Over all 2863
child has tested and 3922 test (repeated test cases) was done. %22 (789 out of
3922) of all the test results is “at risk” ie: yellow and red results. At the original
study “at-risk” percentage was %28 (84 cases out of 310).
The percentage of “at-risk” infants is in accordance with the literature (8). The
difference between the “at-risk” percentages can be attributed to the large
sample size effect which is the result of the advantage of crowdsourced study.
To understand its effectiveness the data from the well baby app needs to be
studied prospectively in clinical settings. Using the electronic platforms, brief
administration time, automatic scoring, educational program component
together with age specific recommendations plus online FAQ, wellbaby app has
a potential widespread use as an early intervention tool.
infant at-risk, screening, early intervention, smart phone application,
crowdsourced study, community-based participatory research
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