pregnant woman
The NHS has launched a new maternity app that allows women to manage their pregnancy from home.

Last year, health officials announced that more than 100,000 women were offered the digital maternity app under a pilot scheme.

Following a successful trial, the NHS has revealed that the app will be rolled out across the country, with all pregnant women - around 650,000 women a year - able to access it by 2024.

The app will allow pregnant women to take photographs of their scans to store, record their birth preferences and refer themselves to local maternity units.

Mothers-to-be will also be able to monitor their baby's movements, access medical records and advice, and record their blood pressure.

Those who suffer from high blood pressure will also be offered home monitors which connect to the app, allowing them to keep a close check on their condition.

The country's most senior midwife, Jacqueline Dunkley Bent, said the plans would "bring care closer to home" and give women more control over their pregnancy care.

The measures form part of an NHS drive to improve safety of maternity services and save 4,000 babies lives by 2025.

Bent, NHS chief midwifery officer for England, said: "Expectant mums and their partners rightly want more say over their care and more information about how things are going during pregnancy, and that's what we are delivering through the NHS Long Term Plan."

"Digital maternity records bring women's care closer to home, giving them more control over their pregnancy and care, and in surroundings and at times that suit them."

Roger Carter, from NHS Digital's maternity programme, agreed, adding that the app will not only help to "improve the overall experience for both expectant mums and health professionals" but also "promote safer care".

The new app is part of the NHS' four digital maternity projects which are working to help NHS England meet its objective of improving outcomes in maternity services in England.

A recent NHS report, titled Better Births, set out the organisations vision for the planning, design and safe delivery of maternity services, including how women, babies and families are able to get the type of care they want, and how staff will be supported to deliver such care.

The report concluded that if the NHS is to improve its quality of care it needs to make it easier for health professionals to collect and share data with each other and with their patients.