ACOG Releases New Due Date Calculator Smartphone App That May Soon Replace Traditional Pregnancy Wheel

Troy Brown, RN

February 10, 2016

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released a new Estimated Due Date (EDD) Calculator smartphone app that may soon replace the traditional plastic pregnancy wheel. The EDD Calculator will be easy for patients as well as healthcare providers to use.

ACOG's EDD Calculator is the only one of more than 1800 OB/GYN-related apps that reconciles discrepancies in due dates between the first ultrasound and the date of the last menstrual period.

With so many prenatal apps currently available, "it's important for clinicians to have a trusted source they can go to [for] accurate dating," Nathaniel DeNicola, MD, digital and social media expert consultant and senior fellow at the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab told Medscape Medical News. Dr DeNicola helped develop the EDD Calculator.

The EDD Calculator also simplifies due date calculation for patients who undergo in vitro fertilization.

"Having a firm due date might not seem like the most important thing during that first [prenatal] visit, but...when it comes to the third trimester it really becomes important," Dr DeNicola added.

Based Solely on ACOG Guidelines

The EDD Calculator is the first app based solely on the joint recommendations from ACOG, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine for calculating pregnancy due dates.

"This Committee Opinion outlines a standardized approach for estimating gestational age and the anticipated due date. It is understood that within the ranges suggested by different studies, no perfect evidence exists to establish a single-point cut-off in difference between clinical and ultrasonographic EDD to prompt changing a pregnancy's due date," according to the joint recommendations. "However, there is great utility in using a single, uniform standard within and between institutions that have access to high-quality ultrasonography (as most, if not all, US obstetric facilities do). Accordingly, in creating recommendations and the associated summary table, single-point cut-offs were chosen based on expert review."

Many clinicians may already have these guidelines memorized, but for others, the app allows them to quickly access the guidelines when caring for patients, Dr DeNicola told Medscape Medical News.

"The EDD Calculator has ACOG guidelines built into the logic, therefore it is the most accurate tool available for ob-gyns and their staff," Dr DeNicola explained in an ACOG news release. "This is the only app that is based on ACOG guidelines and was beta tested by ob-gyn experts. It's made by ob-gyns, for ob-gyns."

"High Marks for Comprehensiveness, Function, and Design"

"The ACOG EDD Calculator is an accurate app that received high marks for comprehensiveness, function and design, resulting in an APPLICATIONS score of 13 out of 16," Katherine Chen, MD, MPH, professor and vice chair of obstetrics-gynecology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said in the news release. "That's the highest score among all of the other pregnancy wheel apps that my colleagues and I previously evaluated in our study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in June 2015. In addition, it is the only pregnancy wheel app on the market that has a special feature that allows redating based on ultrasonography."

The EDD calculator allows the clinician to determine how far along a patient will be at a certain date and also to determine in advance when a patient will reach a certain gestational age. "If you want to know when a patient will be 32 weeks because they're going to start some kind of increased surveillance and have extra testing, you can plug it in and find out exactly when the patient will be 32 weeks," Dr DeNicola told Medscape Medical News.

App Has Other Features As Well

The new EDD Calculator is part of the primary ACOG app, which can be downloaded for free at the App Store for Apple phones and Google Play for Android phones. "All the ACOG committee opinions are right there on the app, so that's very convenient," Dr DeNicola explained. The app also includes ACOG news and annual meeting information.

ACOG plans to replace the plastic wheel with the new app.

Those who are currently using the ACOG app must update their copy directly from Google Play or App Store because running the in-app updates will not install the EDD Calculator applet. More information is available on the ACOG website.

Dr DeNicola has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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