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dmi:Design Value Award Winner - Hopelab
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dmi:Design Value Award Winner




Goal Mama: Improving the Lives of Moms and Their Babies

Hopelab, Nurse-Family Partnership, Ayogo


More than five million U.S. children live in poverty. An effective strategy to help break the poverty cycle is to intervene and provide support to young, first-time pregnant women and new parents. Prenatal and early childhood home visitation is an approach that capitalizes on the earliest years of life by connecting pregnant women and the parents of young children with nurses and other trained professionals who regularly travel to the parents’ homes to provide tools, guidance, and the support necessary to promote healthy children, healthy parents, and family self-sufficiency. Over this critical period however, a core challenge for these programs continues to be client retention. Additionally, public health programs that involve home-visitation and serve our most vulnerable communities often do not have the resources to design and implement state-of-the-art digital tools for their patients.
The Goal Mama app and companion nurse dashboard were developed to improve program engagement and retention, thereby enabling the best possible outcomes for mothers through the use of technology. The project is a collaboration between of three organizations that bring together great evidence (Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP]), great technology (Ayogo), and great design (Hopelab). NFP is an evidence-based community health program that empowers vulnerable, first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies. Ayogo designs and develops technologies to activate, engage, and empower patients faced with challenging healthcare transitions. Hopelab is a social innovation lab that focuses on improving the health and well-being of teens and young adults. Its unique innovation framework is powered by a fusion of behavioral science and human-centered design.

Goal Mama was developed specifically to meet the needs of NFP moms and nurses, and then pilot-tested at five sites throughout the U.S. The test included nearly 300 mom participants. It is now being rolled out to all 267 NFP network partners across the country and will ultimately reach the 60,000+ families served by the program each year.

Although new parents have access to various consumer apps and online resources related to pregnancy and parenting, these tools are generally not integrated with the providers and systems that play a role in supporting their health and well-being. Mothers report that what makes the Goal Mama app and platform unique and helpful is that their nurse is able to be part of the experience with them, seeing their goals and desired discussion topics. This builds additional connection and scaffolding between the nurse and mother, strengthening their bond and leveraging technology to provide the nurse with insights into the mother’s unique needs, strengths, and desires. With Goal Mama, the technology was intentionally designed to enhance the nurse-mom relationship, giving them new ways to connect with and understand each other.

The Goal Mama platform demonstrates how design and technology can be leveraged to keep critical programs relevant and effective for young parents. The vast majority of NFP clients regularly access and use mobile technologies, and they value the provision of materials, reminders, and resources through a mobile interface that they can easily access anywhere and anytime. Additionally, moms have utilized the app to help them go back to school, access job training, and even make safety plans for leaving a violent partner.

The platform can potentially reduce the number of clients who drop out of this voluntary program. Getting young clients to stick with anything for two plus years is a challenge, and this is even more daunting given the social, economic, and health challenges that many moms in the program face in their day-to-day lives.

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