Breast Milk “Bartending”: There’s an App for That
Article ID: 676264
Released: 12-Jun-2017 2:05 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
“Logging breast milk manually is incredibly time-sensitive and prone to errors,” said Kelly Convery, BSN, RN, IBCLC, ICN Lactation Consultant at HUP, noting that each bottle requires 16-20 manual validations (including verifying the baby’s and mother’s identification, updating expiration dates – which changes when the bottle is moved from the freezer to the fridge – inventory, etc.). “For moms, having to manually keep track of when they last pumped, which side they pumped from and how much they could produce, is incredibly stressful in a time when they should be able to focus on the well-being of their child.”
According to Convery, moms can bring in up to 16 bottles of milk per day. With most ICN nurses caring for three ICN babies at any given time, the time it takes to inventory and track breast milk really starts to add up. But, research has shown that babies in the NICU are discharged faster and have better health outcomes – including fewer respiratory and GI tract infections – both in the short and long term when they are fed with their mother’s breast milk, making the need for a better management system paramount.
Keriton is the brainchild of Vidur Bhatnagar, who was working toward a master’s in Robotics in 2015, and had a nephew in 2011, who was born three weeks prematurely. With fluid in his lungs, doctors decided to admit Bhatnagar’s nephew, but discharged his sister, the baby’s mother.
- Klassify – a real-time dashboard allows lactation nurses to track pumping patterns to identify problems early
- Konnect – allows lactation consultants to chat directly with new moms, send reminders about pumping, and answer questions mom’s might have
- Klick – allows nurses to send photos to moms of their babies at pumping time – studies have shown that seeing the baby improves pumping volumes and lactation
- Kare – automates inventory management, expiration management, validates every single action on a bottle and auto-generates an audit trail for every bottle
Convey and Carpenter have both seen dramatic changes in pumping volumes with Keriton, a change they suspect is a result of the engagement Keriton provides by allowing moms to connect with nurses, see their babies, and receive alerts about low inventory, or reminders when it’s time to pump.
Vincent now weighs over 7 pounds and was able to go home with his mom just days ago. Though the past three months were especially trying, Poles says it helped to be able to receive pictures of Vincent and be involved in his care even when she couldn’t be by his side. Now at home, Poles is able to continue using the app to track her pumping volumes and log Vincent’s milk.