Project Preconception Care

The “Gabby” System

The “Gabby” System, developed by researchers at Boston University Medical Center in partnership with the Relational Agents Group from Northeastern University, is designed to help young black and African American women improve their preconception health status and thus improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy and birth outcome in the future.

This is important because black and African American women are twice as likely as white women to have babies born prematurely, at low birth weight, or with birth defects. This health disparity is worrisome because these babies start their lives with a higher risk for health and developmental problems as they grow up.

The health information presented by the character, “Gabby,” is based on the clinical recommendations published in a supplement of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Preconception Health and Health Care: The Clinical Content of Preconception Care.

Early testing has been promising with results indicating that Gabby can help young women reduce their number of preconception health risks. In addition, users have reported that the system is easy to use and that they like and trust Gabby.

 

Click here for an overview of the content of Preconception Care (PCC).

PCC is the effort to improve the health of women before pregnancy in hopes of improving pregnancy outcomes. Simply put, healthier women have healthier babies. It is a broad collection of health topics, ranging from issues like family planning, specific medical conditions (e.g., diabetes), exposure to teratogens, and preventive behaviors (e.g., immunization and folic acid supplementation).