Testing the Road to Birth Application in Clinical Practice

  • Fealy, S. (Other)
  • Jones, D. (Other)
  • Ellen Solis (Other)
  • Elizabeth Munoz (Other)
  • Roberto Galvez (Other)

Activity: Engagement and professional developmentExternal research and teachingAcademic


The Road to Birth is a mixed reality technology application that provides a detailed anatomical view of pregnancy. Broadly speaking, application software is “is a type of computer program that performs a specific personal, educational, and business function. Each program is designed to assist the user with a particular process, which may be related to productivity, creativity, and/or communication” (https://www.quickbase.com/articles/application-software-basics, 2020). Apps are often designed for entertainment, games and education. Like many apps designed for use on tablets and smart phones, the Road to Birth is for educational purposes only. The application can be used on any tablet or smart phone, and provides 3D, 360 degree images of the typical anatomical changes involved with pregnancy (see attached images in Appendix A). Using a touch screen, the user can manipulate and change the preloaded images, moving the model through gestational stages (see attached images in Appendix A). The program, originally developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle, Australia for the education of midwifery students, has recently been adopted under collaborative agreement for teaching and research by the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. The Road to Birth has been designed to provide the user with an interactive visual educational experience of fetal positions in utero and the anatomy of pregnancy from 0 to 40 weeks gestation, and is for visual educational purposes only. This study will use the Road to Birth program adapted by the University of Illinois as a mobile tablet /smart phone application for use by physicians, certified nurse-midwives, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners (maternity care providers) at Carle. We will use quantitative survey data and qualitative descriptive analysis techniques from individual interviews with the aim to gather information on providers’ use of the app, moving beyond program development to investigate the potential for integration into clinical education and practice.