Baby Steps LA

Baby Steps LA assists new parents in giving their infants better healthcare through providing parents with information curated by healthcare professionals.

Intuition first

A virtual transition to home program solution

Mobile applications can be a great tool to assist new parents in giving their infants better healthcare. 

Using an intuitive user interface to provide parents with information curated by healthcare professionals, digital health apps focus on parents’ mental and physical health and help them feel supported during the often difficult transition from hospital to home.

Easy-to-use and intuitive experience

Improving Healthcare for new parents

Healthcare applications and developments are intended to keep track of your health, making life easier for you and your healthcare provider.

Baby Steps LA app helps new parents to provide better healthcare for their newborn children by providing parents with an intuitive user interface.

Strong interface, Constant comunication

Digital Health implementations are focused on parental support and contain pre-defined checklists, making it easier for parents to remember all the “To do” tasks when their newborns leave the hospital. 

The app contains readily available curated content that each member of the family can “favorite,” allowing each family member to navigate to the content they need the most. 

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Literature Review

Investigation of parents' self-efficacy in using a NICU transition to a home smartphone app

Garfield et al., (2016) investigated whether parents of infants with Very Low BirthWeight (VLBW) in the NICU  had greater self-efficacy, were better prepared for discharge, and had a shorter length of stay when using a transition to home (NICU-2-HOME) smartphone app than control parents. The study was conducted over four weeks with 90 VLBW parents, 44 randomized to usual care, and 46 with usual care plus the NICU-2-HOME app. The Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC) was evaluated at three different time points: baseline, the day of discharge, and two weeks after discharge. The preparedness for discharge and length of stay (LOS) were also evaluated. The results indicated that PSOC increased by 7% during the intervention compared to controls. Above-average users raised their PSOC score by 14%, average users by 11%, and below-average users by 6% compared to controls. Some evidence indicated that the LOS for above-average users was shorter than for the control group. Overall results indicated that a smartphone app could improve parenting self-efficacy, discharge preparedness, and LOS with increased benefits based on use for parents of VLBW infants during the transition home from the NICU.

Evaluation of the use of smartphone apps in helping children with cancer

Mehdizadeh, Asadi, Mehrvar, Nazemi, and Emami (2019) examined twenty-four articles that assessed the use of smartphone apps in helping children with cancer and their families. These apps were used to provide information and education about their diagnosis and treatment, symptom assessment, social support, communication with caregivers, calendar updates, and reminders about their treatment and medication.

These apps helped provide easy access to information and reduced the costs of using landline phones. Moreover, the children's families had access to all the necessary information regarding their children's diseases. 

Easy to access features give parents the upper hand

Moderated chat facility for parents

to interact with healthcare professionals by asking questions, and sharing information, and personal experiences.

Track and store health information about your children

assisting your healthcare provider with a wider view to ensure faster and more precise treatment decisions.

Self-evaluation Tool

to scan your current mood. This is a key factor as you ought to be at your best when taking care of your baby.

A personal task manager and reminder

where the parents can set daily activities and mark them when completed.

A Virtual Medical Library

with tons of curated content where you can find handy articles to complement your experience as well as step-by-step guides for specific tasks.

On-app quick access to useful resources

like transportation, housing, education, and safety.

Ashwini Lakshmanan, MD, MS, MPH

Ashwini Lakshmanan, MD, MS, MPH is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and serves as the Section Head for Epidemiology and Outcomes and is the Research and Director of the Laboratory for Fetal & Neonatal Healthcare Research. She is also a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative Health Equity task force.

Dr. Ashwini is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and an attending neonatologist at the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Lakshmanan's work also involves the development and implementation of digital health technologies focused on helping and supporting new parents. Dr. Lakshmanan has implemented numerous databases to enhance caregiver understanding of epidemiology and outcomes of neonates with high-risk conditions.

Her interest in disparities in health care delivery and perinatal-neonatal medicine, maternal stress on birth outcomes, and quality of life for caregivers of preterm infants after discharge from the NICU inspired the creation of digital solutions, such as Baby Steps LA, to help families transition home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for which in 2019, CHLA was awarded one of the American Hospital Association’s Innovation Challenge prizes.

Additionally, Dr. Lakshmanan has mentored numerous MD, MPH, and Ph.D. students and junior faculty during her research. Topics such as opioid exposure, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation are also part of her research work.


Dr. Lakshmanan's work

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User Research

Visual Design

User Testing


About Me

Better design, better experiences

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App Design

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