Ashley Williams, a sociology master’s degree student; Maria Gonzalez, a junior biology major; and Jessy Lemus, a freshman international social justice major

Students Pitch Innovative Ideas to Improve Health, Education and Energy

To help low-income Latinx women more easily access prenatal care, a team of Virginia Commonwealth University students is designing an app that would allow them to communicate with a medical provider. The women also could use the app to access health information via educational videos on topics such as nutrition, blood pressure and antepartum depression.

“Low-income women face a lot of barriers to prenatal care,” said Maria Gonzalez, a junior biology major in the College of Humanities and Sciences. “For example, many low-income women have trouble when it comes to making sure they can attend prenatal care appointments because of a lack of transportation. So part of our idea is that [the app] would have a HIPAA-compliant messaging system where they could say, ‘I’m having this symptom or this complication. Do I need to come in?’”

Gonzalez and other team members work in the lab of Tiffany Green, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy in the School of Medicine, who specializes in maternal and child health disparities, migration and how discrimination informs the immigrant experience and acts on individual health outcomes.

VCU News has the full story.