Valley Health has launched a new app designed to provide information about local Valley Health resources for pregnant women.

Lauren Winebrenner, the digital marketing coordinator for Valley Health, said that the hospital system had been thinking for a while about creating an app for patients.

“We’re always trying to improve and be where our patients want us to be,” Winebrenner said.

The organization has been focused on improving its social media presence and updating its website, she said, adding that “this is kind of a natural progression into what consumers expect, not just from health care but other organizations as well.”

The new app, called VHS Babies, provides pregnant women with information about their pregnancy. When a pregnant woman first opens the app, the app asks when her expected due date is.

The app then provides her with information about the number of weeks before she is expected to deliver the baby, as well as weekly updates about how big the baby should be.

But the key to the app, and the thing that distinguishes it from other pregnancy apps, is the local information it has about Valley Health resources, Anna Kemp, program manager for marketing and communication at Valley Health, said.

Kemp noted that there is a broad array of pregnancy apps available to women.

But, she said, “There really wasn’t something that was local for moms in our area to be able to get a lot of information.”

The new app aims to change that, linking pregnant women to local Valley Health providers and to online and in-person pregnancy classes that Valley Health offers.

Throughout the process, Kemp said, she and Winebrenner asked themselves what kind of information they would have liked to have known during their pregnancies. Both were pregnant recently and are mothers of young children.

“The genesis was just sort of being where our consumers are…but also just knowing what it feels like to be a patient looking for information, maybe not being able to find it very readily,” Kemp said. “So we were really excited to do something that would allow us to give that to our patients.”

Winebrenner said that this is the first app that Valley Health has produced for patients; they have a few other internal apps. But she added that she expects the hospital system to add more apps in the future.