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Johns Hopkins Children's Center PoopMD+: Research Study and App


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PoopMD+: Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Mobile #App and Research Study

Learn about infant stool color while advancing pediatric liver disease research.

 

What is PoopMD+?

PoopMD+ is a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center research study and free iPhone app that gather information about infant stool color, also called baby poop color. Data gathered about baby poop color will help advance pediatric liver disease research.

Why is baby poop color important?

Baby poop comes in a range of colors, and many of these colors are perfectly normal. Most baby stool colors, such as yellow poop, brown poop and green poop, are perfectly normal and are no cause for concern.

However, the color of your baby’s poop may indicate that your baby has a gastrointestinal illness or a problem with the liver. Pale stools can be a sign of a rare liver disease, and earlier detection can greatly improve the outcome from this disease.

The simple rule to remember about baby poop is:

Most colors are normal except for red, black or white.

To learn more about baby poop color, visit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center's Stool Color Overview.

How do the PoopMD+ app and study work?

The PoopMD+ app helps parents and caregivers better understand what the color of a baby’s poop means. The app’s color recognition software and your smartphone’s camera work together to determine whether the color of your baby’s poop is normal or abnormal. The app evaluates the poop color for newborn babies under 6 months of age. It does not work on older babies.

illustration that shows how the PoopMD+ research study and app work

Get Started with PoopMD+

  • To begin, download the PoopMD+ app onto your iPhone. 
  • Select the exact area in the diaper that has the baby poop you want to analyze.
  • Take a photo of your baby’s poop.
  • You will receive immediate feedback about whether the poop color is normal or if it is in a range that is considered abnormal. Baby poop color is considered abnormal because it may be too pale (white) or because it may contain blood (red or black). 

The app’s stool color analyzer has been shown to accurately differentiate pale stools from normal stools.

Take the Survey

Two weeks after you take a picture of your baby’s stool and evaluate the color, you will receive a short survey through the app.

  • The survey will contain between 16 and 23 questions, and it should take between three and five minutes to complete.
  • You may be asked to complete the survey up to four times.

Your answers to the survey will contribute to the baby poop research study.

Can I use the app but not participate in the study?

Currently, the PoopMD+ app requires participation in the study and is the only version of the app available for download.  

Who’s Eligible?

You can participate in this study if you are:

  • Over 18 years old.
  • Are the parent or caregiver of an infant under 6 months of age.
  • Own an iPhone.
  • Are willing to sign the informed consent after you download the app.

Note: The PoopMD+ app is not designed to evaluate the stool color of children over 6 months of age and have not been validated for older children.

How to Join the Study

Your use of the PoopMD+ app and participation in this study are entirely voluntary. If you choose to participate:

  • Install the PoopMD+ app on your iPhone.
  • Complete the informed consent document and agree to participate.
  • Take photographs of infant stool and complete the survey(s).

Learn more about the PoopMD+ research study and Privacy Statement.

Meet the Team

The PoopMD+ research study was developed by Douglas Mogul, M.D., M.P.H, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and Beneufit.

Dr. Mogul also worked with HCB Health to create the PoopMD app, first released in 2014.

Photo of Dr. Douglas Bradford Mogul, M.D., M.P.H.

Mogul, Douglas Bradford, M.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Pediatric Liver Transplantation
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Biliary Atresia, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), Liver Disease, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Liver Transplant