How Our Infant Health App is Advancing Care Coordination after NICU Discharge

What is SDOH?

The major pillars of SDOH include access to and quality of healthcare and education, a person’s neighborhood and physical environment, the relationships of the social and community context, and economic stability. They can have positive or negative effects on our well-being by impacting our access to healthcare, food, a healthy living environment, and employment, amongst many other factors. The Baby Steps LA mobile app was developed to provide parents and caregivers with accessible tools for transition-to-home care and a centralized platform for increasing health literacy in both English and Spanish.

Challenges of Care Coordination After NICU

After discharge, parents of NICU babies frequently experience high stress, emotional reactions, and financial burden. Discharge plans can be quite complex. Infants might require heart or breathing monitors, numerous medications, supplemental oxygen at home, and/or additional physician visits. The toll on caregivers is high with NICU mothers facing higher rates of depression than mothers of term infants. Due to disruption in parent-child bonding, parental distress early in a child’s life can have long-term negative effects on a child’s behavior, regardless of socioeconomic status.

How ‘Baby Steps LA’ Reduces Caregiver Burden

Sidebench was tasked with aiding and assisting NICU families through the challenging transition back home. While leveraging the foundation of patient-centered design, we focused heavily on the burden to care that new mothers and caregivers experience after discharge from the NICU.

  • A library that contains a variety of trusted content that is curated by CHLA, including articles and videos, as well as links to verified sites. If a user needs help setting up medical equipment or understanding their baby’s diagnosis, they can read or watch about it on the platform.
  • Resources that support SDOH, such as transportation, housing, and feeding
  • A To-Do section, where CHLA curated checklists include detailed tasks to help families complete care provisions for the mom and the infant after discharge.
  • A Wellness tool where parents can keep track of their mood and mental health through the use of a digital journal, parent support groups, as well as telehealth therapy.
  • All content is highly personalized by inputting individualized medical information regarding the infant’s diagnoses, doctors, and prescribed medication which creates individualized content.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


We are a strategy, design, and development consultancy based in Los Angeles. #LongLA