eMOM project has been completed with promising findings in helping mothers to manage their gestational diabetes

The eMOM co-research project, carried out within the CleverHealth Network and led by HUS Helsinki University Hospital, has recently been completed. We talked to Mikko Kytö and Saila Koivusalo from HUS about the encouraging outcomes of the project in managing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes affects one in five pregnant women in Finland and can impact both maternal and fetal health during pregnancy and later in life. The condition is well monitored in Finland, but healthcare providers may not always be able to provide timely, effective and personalised guidance on healthy lifestyle choices. The eMOM GDM (gestational diabetes monitoring) mobile application was developed to tackle this challenge.

Application to guide towards healthier lifestyle choices

Mikko Kytö (Development Manager, PhD, Docent) from HUS starts by explaining that the goal of the eMOM project was to help women with gestational diabetes understand the connection between lifestyle choices and glucose levels. The application shows the user how glucose levels rise in response to dietary choices and physical activity, allowing for immediate learning and self-care.

The project’s principal investigator Saila Koivusalo (Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, M.D. PhD, Docent) from HUS adds that contrary to capillary glucose tests from fingertips where the patient needs to wait for their consultation with the nurse, the eMOM application provides continuous real-time data on the glucose levels to the expecting mother. What is more, the application is so easy to use that it does not require resources from healthcare professionals.

The eMOM application consists of a continuous glucose monitor, a physical activity tracker and a digital food diary. It was developed iteratively, adopting a user-centric approach. The application features visual diagrams and an information screen showing the mother their current week of pregnancy and information related to it.

Promising results from the clinical test

The application was developed in collaboration with women with gestational diabetes and has been shown to be effective in a clinical study carried out during the project. The randomized controlled trial study found that the application improved fasting blood glucose levels, increased consumption of vegetables, reduced sedentary behaviour, increased light physical activity, and reduced weight gain during pregnancy compared to the control group. The results also indicated that the number of macrosomic  babies (weight over 4 kg) was lower in the group using the application. Many of these positive outcomes were correlated with the use of the application, with more frequent use leading to better results.

Seppo Heinonen (Director, Professor Director, Gynecology and Obstetrics) from HUS highly values the project outcomes. He says: “Today´s research is tomorrow´s treatment“.

Next steps

Mikko Kytö and Saila Koivusalo envision future pilots with maternity clinics to validate the results of clinical tests in real-world use in maternity care. The goal is to collect data on clinical effectiveness, cost-efficiency and user experiences. 

According to Saila Koivusalo, the eMOM application has the potential to be scaled up to include other patient groups, such as medicated gestational diabetics, type 1 and type 2 diabetics, and perhaps even to prevent pregnancy-induced hypertension as a new user group. She says: “We believe that our application will help improve maternal outcomes and reduce the need for specialized care, leading to cost savings.”

Mikko Kytö continues: “After we completed the main project, we have researched artificial intelligence to develop models which can predict glucose levels. Our goal is to use AI for providing recommendations to mothers and increase the guidance properties in the application.” HUS is working on this part with Aalto University and Fujitsu.

The eMOM project is currently approaching its commercialization phase with Fujitsu taking the lead in bringing the application to market.  Client Executive Joonas Siitonen from Fujitsu sums up: "Impacting societies with innovations that have a real-life impact is truly motivating. There are promising results in the care of gestational diabetes globally. The eMoM solution will play a great role for the expecting mothers in improving their quality of life. This supports Fujitsu’s strive to make society sustainable and enable people live healthier lives."


Read more:

Scientific publication about the clinical evaluation:

Scientific publications about the design of mobile application and self-tracking:

Guidelines from the literature:

Evaluation of mobile app prototype:

Study on wearable sensors:




Development Manager, Mikko Kytö,

Senior Medical Officer in charge of research, Saila Koivusalo,


Project partners:
HUS, Elisa, Fujitsu, Aalto University, the University of Helsinki.