Background Georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates within the US. This study describes the qualitative needs assessment undertaken to understand the needs of rural and underserved women and their perspectives on implementing a self monitoring application during pregnancy and postpartum. Methods Qualitative methodology was used to conduct the needs assessment of 12 health care providers (nurses, nurse-midwives, patient care coordinators, and physicians) and 25 women from rural and underserved populations in Georgia was conducted to ascertain common themes on three topics: pregnancy care experiences, comfort with technology, and initial perspectives on the proposed VidaRPM application. Transcription, coding, and consensus were conducted using content analysis and a Cohen's Kappa coefficient was calculated to identify level of overall agreement between raters for the representative quotes identified for each theme. Results The overall agreement for the representative quotes that were chosen for each theme was in strong agreement (κ = 0.832). The major provider feedback included the following regarding the VidaRPM app: inclusion of questions to monitor physical well-being, embedded valid and reliable educational resources, and multiple modalities. The overall feedback from the mothers regarding the VidaRPM application was the virtual aspect helped overcome the barriers to accessing care, comfort with both WiFi and technology, and sustainable utility. Discussion The needs of rural and underserved pregnant women and their providers were assessed to develop and refine the VidaRPM app. This qualitative study on the VidaRPM app is the first step towards closing the gap between providers and patients during prenatal and postpartum periods by empowering and educating women into the first-year postpartum living in rural and underserved areas.
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