Free app calculates age, due date of unborn babies

PHOTO: Free app calculates age, due date of unborn babies

THAILAND - Accurate calculation of an unborn child's gestational age and expected date of delivery has been made easier for medical personnel and pregnant women by a new application for mobile phones and tablets with Android operating systems.

The programme, known as PREG-CAL, was developed by Jantakan Kanjanawetang, a lecturer at the School of Family Health and Midwifery at Suranaree University of Technology's Institute of Nursing, starting in February. The university patented PREG-CAL in August and the application was officially launched on December 17.

Jantakan said she had found that tools being used to calculate gestational age and expected date of delivery, such as gestational wheels, calculators and computers, had limits in terms of convenience, accuracy and medical personnel error. They were also time-consuming to use. So, she came up with the idea of creating an easy-to-use programme for mobile phones that can do the calculations quickly and accurately.

She said PREG-CAL would make medical people's calculations more accurate.

As a result, doing health check-ups for pregnant women and their foetuses at different periods of development would be more effective.

Jantakan said she had developed the programme on Android because the operating system was popular among mobile phone and tablet users, and devices featuring the operating system were less expensive than other types. She was confident an Android-based app would reach many users.

PREG-CAL V.2.1 is the latest version. Aside from calculating expected dates of delivery and gestational age, it provides academic information on these aspects of pregnancy and includes an instructional video. These features mean it can be used as an electronic manual for nursing students and midwives.

It has been used by nursing students at the university during their internships, and by midwives at Pak Thongchai Hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima, the first hospital to use the programme.

About 100 nursing and health personnel, pregnant women and husbands across the country have downloaded the programme. In evaluations, the programme's performance has been rated as "good" to "outstanding".

The programme's creator plans to continue developing it so it can provide more helpful information about how to care for pregnant women's health.

The programme can be downloaded from www.sut.ac.th, nursing.sut.ac.th or www.jantakan.in free of charge.

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