For decades, growth charts have been important aspects of early years development and monitoring. This year, RCPCH is pleased to announce plans to launch an online digital growth assessment tool for parents.
The new tool, which will form part of plans to digitise the Personal Child Health Record, will be available to parents in 2021 and will include expert advice and guidance. The digital version of the growth charts will offer parents an easy and secure way to record and understand information about their child’s growth.
The College announced plan for the new platform to coincide with the centenary of the birth of Dr James Tanner, a British paediatric endocrinologist, an influential figure in the science of growth and developer of the Tanner scale.
Dr Simon Chapman, Consultant in Paediatrics, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:
For me this is a hugely significant event. Growth charts have long been stuck on paper charts, and the tech solutions to put them on phones and computers which exist already have been variable and often unvalidated. RCPCH has taken the bold step of bringing the standardisation of the complex calculations behind growth centiles in-house. This will guarantee accuracy as the algorithms have been written by the same people who designed the original charts.
Importantly, the code will be open source and will be maintained by RCPCH, setting the standard for others to follow. But it need not stop at growth charts and we have now can begin to think about using tech and data to address some of the problems of the future.