The Yale School of Medicine has launched a new ResearchKit study that aims to decrease the chance of pregnancy loss resulting from an undersized placenta.

Lead research and director of the Reproductive and Placental Research Unit, Dr Harvey J. Kliman and his colleagues developed the EPV ResearchKit app after they noted that many late-term pregnancy losses were linked to very small placentas. According to Kliman, the growth of the placenta could be monitored in the same way growth of the foetus is monitored during ultrasounds.

“Until now, there has been no easy way to determine how much ‘gas’ is left in the placenta’s tank,” said Kliman.

“ResearchKit has given me the opportunity to reach thousands of women who can contribute to our understanding of placental volume and pregnancy outcome in a way I never could have done on my own,” continued Kliman.

Women who are eligible for the study are asked to track their EPV by recording the width, height and thickness of the placenta into the app – data they can collect when they undergo a 2D ultrasound examination. When the pregnancy is complete, women will record the outcome of the pregnancy in the EPV app.

Kliman aims to use the data they collect from this study to determine whether EPV measurements can be used to predict pregnancy outcome and if so, the researchers hope to collect data to prove to healthcare providers that there’s value to incorporate EPV measurements into their routine prenatal care.

“My hope is that the effort these research participants put into this project will help women achieve the healthiest pregnancy outcomes possible,” concluded Kliman.

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