Since March 2020, the LUCY maternal and neonatal health app is being implemented in Suriname in collaboration with Stichting Perisur and funded by the UTSN Twinning faciliteit under the wings of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In September 2021, a new version of the app was launched to better meet the needs of pregnant women and parents of newborns.
LUCY is the first maternal and neonatal smartphone app especially developed for the Surinamese market. Surinamese women hardly used smartphone apps to monitor their health.. Nevertheless, the acceptance of the LUCY pregnancy and neonatal health app has been remarkable in a country consisting of many different ethnical groups and strong cultural beliefs about pregnancy and newborn care. Within 1,5 years, more than 4,500 women users downloaded LUCY in Suriname. This means that LUCY supported at least 15% of the estimated total of ~30.000 pregnancies and newborns in Suriname between March 2020 and September 2021 and is rapidly growing bigger and better.
A great part of the success of LUCY is the result of the healthcare and community workers who serve as ambassadors for the app. They enrol their clients to the app as it fortifies their services with valuable information directly at hand and reinforces the healthcare workers’ messages in between clinical care visits.
Please watch this video showing the impact LUCY has on her users:
The new LUCY 2.0 even better supports pregnant women and parents of newborns as well as healthcare – and community workers by offering the following exciting new features:
Antenatal and postnatal appointment tracker
LUCY 2.0 contains a personalized calendar with all antenatal and postnatal care visits and vaccinations for the newborn. Based on gestational age or age of the newborn all visits are shown in a calendar. The user receives reminders for each clinic visit and can indicate whether she attended the appointment and child immunization was done. It is expected that this improves the adherence to the preferred schedule of antenatal/postnatal care visits according to national and international guidelines and increases the vaccination rate of women and babies.
E-communication with a healthcare provider
LUCY 2.0 offers users the unique opportunity to ask questions to a healthcare provider via an e-communication function. Via the digital helpdesk Stichting Perisur and Health[e]Foundation organize questions that are answered by medical experts. This service is expected to lower the threshold for users to reach out to a healthcare provider, increasing their health seeking behaviour.
An often neglected topic during antenatal or postnatal care visits is the mental well-being of (pregnant) women. Hence, LUCY 2.0 allows users to capture their mood on a daily basis with the help of five smileys, from happy to sad. When a user indicates sad smiley’s over a longer period of time it is advised to discuss this with her healthcare provider to receive the right mental health care.
How to get the LUCY app
The LUCY app can be downloaded for free via the Google Playstore and Apple Appstore in Dutch or English: