Nixxi’s PopNatalTM offers the earliest and most cost-effective identification of women at risk for premature delivery
Nixxi, a women’s health company with a mission to improve pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes, has announced the launch of PopNatal, a proprietary digital assessment of a woman’s risk for preterm birth.
The current standard of care, which largely consists of history-based screening, misses 93% of women who will have a preterm delivery. Based on advanced technology developed by leading maternal-fetal medicine physicians and data scientists, PopNatal identifies nearly ten times more women at risk for preterm birth than current screening methods in early pregnancy.
Early identification provides health care providers and women with the best opportunities to take proactive steps to reduce preterm birth risk. PopNatal is a clinical decision support tool that provides actionable intelligence to health care providers for patient management. PopNatal is immediately available to women, clinicians, and healthcare payors.
How it Works
A woman who is planning for a pregnancy, or upon learning she is pregnant, may register on the Nixxi website (www.nixxihealth.com) for access to PopNatal. She will be asked to provide information about herself and her health history within the secure and HIPAA-compliant portal. Nixxi then analyzes hundreds of data points using a proprietary algorithm in order to produce a risk assessment. Within 72 hours, Nixxi reports the results to the woman’s health care provider. The results allow the woman and her doctor to work together to develop a care plan tailored to her pregnancy.
Unlike other tests, which require a blood sample and can’t be taken until the second half of pregnancy, the PopNatal preterm birth risk assessment offers an earlier, equally accurate, more convenient, and more affordable way to determine a woman’s risk of premature delivery. The PopNatal process takes less than 15 minutes for most women to complete on their mobile phone when and where they choose — whether in the comfort of their own home or on the go between activities.
PopNatal uses an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm to predict the risk of delivery prior to 37 weeks in all women, including first-time pregnancies and women without a prior history of preterm delivery. The test is 75% sensitive and 60% specific, which is similar to commercially available blood-based preterm birth prognostic testing. The individual’s results will either fall in the high-risk group (she has a 4-fold increased risk for preterm birth before 37 weeks gestation) or low-risk group (she has a 96% chance of not delivering prematurely). Results from PopNatal are intended to inform the clinical decisions of healthcare providers, and do not replace the benefits of adequate prenatal care under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.
“History-based screening, the current standard of care for risk assessment in early pregnancy, only identifies 7% of women who will deliver preterm. PopNatal fills a significant unmet need and accurately identifies at-risk women early in pregnancy,” said Avi Patil, MD, Nixxi’s founder, chief executive officer, and a maternal-fetal medicine physician. “Our team was determined to provide an easy-to-use, non-invasive and affordable tool to help arm clinicians and women with actionable information early in pregnancy. The early implementation of PopNatal is particularly useful to allow time to create a tailored and meaningful care plan for each woman.”
About Preterm Birth
Preterm birth is defined as delivery of a baby before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy lasts between 37-40 weeks or about nine months. Preterm babies tend to have more health problems and stay in the hospital longer than babies born full-term. The earlier in pregnancy a baby is born, the greater the chance of serious health problems, both immediate and long-term, including slower growth, cerebral palsy, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diseases of the ears and eyes and even blindness.
Preterm birth affects one in 10 pregnancies in the U.S.. The overall rate has continued to increase for the past four consecutive years. Preterm birth and related complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and globally. In the U.S. alone, the annual economic burden associated with preterm birth exceeds $26.2 billion. The majority of these costs stem from those babies born before 32 weeks.
Common causes of preterm birth include a woman having had multiple pregnancies, infections, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. There could also be shared genetic factors among family members that affect risk. Women who live in poverty, both in low-income countries and more developed nations, also have a much higher risk. Often, however, no cause will be identified.
Other known risk factors for preterm birth include having had a prior preterm birth, pregnancy with twins or other multiples, a short interval between pregnancies, fertility treatments, and problems with the major organs involved in the pregnancy. Smoking, drug use, inability in maintaining a healthy weight and stress can all contribute to preterm birth risk as well. Lifestyle choices and decision-making play a critical role in eliminating some of these risk factors and give women a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.