NEWS RELEASE: University of Minnesota School of Nursing teams with GetWellNetwork to bring innovative research to commercial healthcare market

Unique partnership will use mobile health technology to put congenital heart defect research into the hands of parents

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 14, 2018 – GetWellNetwork, the Precision Engagement health care company, today announced a new partnership through its research and development incubator, GetWell Labs and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing (UMN). GetWellNetwork will help transform faculty-led research into real-world applications—from facilitating feedback through pilot testing to co-developing products for commercialization and launching them in the health care market.

The inaugural collaboration will combine the power of GetWellNetwork’s cloud-based health education and management tool, GetWell Go, with a mobile health (mHealth) content platform prototyped by UMN researchers to create a Patient Pathway for parents managing a congenital heart defect (CHD) diagnosis—the most common birth anomaly in the country. Theoretically informed, empirically based content derived from UMN’s research study, Preparing Heart and Mind (PHM): A Mobile and Web Application for Parents and Clinicians After Fetal / Infant Heart Disease Diagnosis, will populate the interactive learning modules.

In the U.S. alone, CHD affects approximately 40,000 infants born each year and one million under age 18. A fetal / infant anomaly diagnosis (defined as a structural or functional malformation requiring medical and/or surgical treatment) sets in motion a rollercoaster of emotions for parents. During this vulnerable time, families must attempt to navigate a landscape of highly technical care, new terminology and multiple hospitalizations and surgeries. The psychological distress may compromise their ability to understand diagnostic and treatment information, engage in maternal-fetal health during pregnancy and interfere with child health care after birth.

Education is a key part of successful coping. The joint-produced Patient Pathway will guide parents and families through the challenges, risks and treatments associated with CHD beginning before birth and extending through the early weeks postnatal. “Providers will be able to equip at-risk families with tools and resources to help them understand their child’s condition and manage the emotional strain,” said UMN School of Nursing assistant professor Anne Chevalier McKechnie, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC who led the PHM study. “Our goal is to empower them to be confident and competent caregivers, and subsequently, reduce pregnancy and infant morbidity.”

Key to UMN’s selection of GetWellNetwork is GetWell Go’s existing features and capabilities, including:

  • Self-paced multimedia health education that incorporates text, videos, tips and quizzes to reinforce comprehension
  • Email, text and video messaging tools to facilitate patient-to-care-team communication
  • The Clinician’s Dashboard from which providers prescribe education, monitor progress in real time and generate reports

From any web-enabled device, parents will be able to view health history and patterns and prepare for effective discussions with clinicians about observations, care planning and discharge readiness.

McKechnie cites GetWellNetwork’s commitment to pediatric product development and their large footprint as the leader in Interactive Patient Care through Precision Engagement as influential factors in the decision to partner.

“This partnership represents a promising opportunity to advance the standard of care in a context where no other mHealth or patient engagement products exist,” she said. “We are confident that GetWellNetwork is the right technology partner to help us further develop and commercialize our research.”

Philosophical alignment between GetWellNetwork’s Interactive Care Model (developed by their research arm, the O’Neil Center) and UMN’s approach to family care also influenced the school’s decision. Chief clinical and nursing officer Karen Drenkard Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN who oversees the O’Neil Center’s work, said it’s a privilege to be in partnership with the school.

“I’m excited about continuing to improve patient-centered care, starting with helping to bring to market a product that provides a new way to optimize maternal-fetal and infant outcomes by supporting this population as they transition to parenting under difficult and unanticipated circumstances,” said Drenkard.

About University of Minnesota School of Nursing

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing ranks among the nation’s top nursing schools. It is a leader in nursing research and has a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of approximately 850 students. The school produces 55 percent of the faculty in Minnesota’s public and private nursing schools, advanced practice nurses and nurses who can assume leadership positions. It is the oldest continuously operated, university-based school of nursing. The School of Nursing is one of six schools and colleges in the Academic Health Center, one of the most comprehensive facilities for health professionals in the nation, fostering interdisciplinary study, research and education. For more information, visit

Preparing Heart and Mind™ and PHM™ are registered trademarks of the University of Minnesota.

About GetWellNetwork

GetWellNetwork® is the Precision Engagement™ health care company. Our solutions engage patients and families, empower clinicians and deliver outcomes that matter. From inpatient to outpatient, to physician practices and urgent care clinics, to patients on the go, GetWellNetwork offers the only cross-continuum platform that performs across every care setting.

GetWell Labs™, Patient Pathways™, GetWell Go™, Interactive Patient Care™, Interactive Care Model™ and the O’Neil Center™ are registered trademarks of GetWellNetwork.