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Meet the Top 10 of the Women & Access to Health Call for Initiatives!

29.04.2019

  • Adia is a digital platform empowering women to be more proactive about their fertility health. They provide women with an at-home fertility blood test, access to expert support and a holistic preconception plan that addresses both physical and emotional health.Adia was founded through their founder Lina Chan's personal experience of difficulty conceiving and pregnancy challenges. She realised how reactive and fragmented current reproductive health support is for women. Why should women have to try for a whole year before taking a test to understand their fertility health? Why should women miscarry three times before speaking to a specialist? Why should women rely on "Dr. Google" to guide them in one of the most important decisions in their lives? Why does the current system completely ignore mental health? Adia is on a mission to change that. Read more on their website
  • BabyMed: While many women in Kenya, where BabyMed is first focused, lack of access to medical professionals or prenatal education, most own a mobile phone. BabyMed steps in by providing educational, supportive text messages or voice memos at every stage of pregnancy. The startup supports simple health interventions that have been proven to reduce maternal and child deaths. These prevention's include messages on birth spacing, regular antenatal care, exclusive breastfeeding, hand washing and use of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria. The discrete use of text messages also helps inform first-time mothers and supporters about prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, how to get proper nutrition for mother and baby, notice of danger signs, as well as family planning and postpartum care instructions that she may be too afraid or uninformed to ask a healthcare provider about. For more information, click here.

  • Babyscripts' clinically validated program for virtual obstetrics allows healthcare providers to automate aspects of prenatal and postpartum care, facilitating greater efficiency in workflow through remote monitoring while giving patients immediate access to care through the Babyscripts app and internet-connected medical devices. In addition to better triaging clinical and social issues, Babyscripts has the potential to reduce visits and enables real-time interventions, addressing the obstacle of distance and time for women who are sometimes forced by hospital closures and other external circumstances to take two and three busses to an OBGYN appointment. The company has invested additional monies to specifically reduce healthcare barriers for the medically underserved. In 2016, Babyscripts partnered with Aurora Health Care, the largest non-profit health system in Wisconsin, to build a Medicaid focused product called Care Navigator. 

  • CareNX with it's product 'CareMother' (CM) provides 'door-step' antenatal tests ($0.7 per visit) through point-of-care diagnostic devices, and a smart-phone application used by health workers (HWs), with a 'decision-support tool' for early identification of high-risk pregnancies (HRPs), and instant reporting to doctors. In an urban slum, CM identified 33% more HRPs than public health facilities, over one year. Expenses incurred are 3x lower than those for diagnostic labs and other market offerings like 'HealthCubed'. Unlike other organizations like Dimagi, CM enables pregnant women to 'escape' high-risk: 51% of pregnancies in the above slum were high-risk at 1st trimester, but after follow-up visits with doctors, they did not have the required morbidities to be classified as high-risk at the 35th week. Unlike other start-ups, HWs also engage mothers during testing (e.g. listening to foetal heart sounds).

    CM acts as an effective referral, monitoring and intervention tool for the primary health-system, which is currently the biggest public health gap in India. The app functions according to an algorithm that identifies high-risk pregnancies (iHRP) and effectively generates a list of high-risk mothers (with causes) and enables early intervention by doctors to avoid further complications. For more information, click here.

  • DoctHers: Over 300,000 licensed female healthcare providers (HCPs) are transitionally or permanently excluded from the global health workforce. doctHERs reintegrates these women by using a digital health platform to connect remotely-located female doctors to health consumers in need via trusted intermediaries such as tablet-equipped nurses, midwives and frontline health workers via assisted HD video-consultation.

    doctHERs uses the power of technology and the potency of the human touch to transcend sociocultural barriers that discourage women from participating in the workforce. By creating a more agile workforce on the supply side, doctHERs is able to match the underutilized capacity of female doctors ('doctHERs') to the unmet needs of millions of underserved Pakistanis including those in corporate value chains (smallholder suppliers, distributors, retailers, micro-retailers, including their spouse, children and parents).

    Frontline health workers (community health promoters, nurses and midwives) are recruited, trained and equipped with technology - hardware, software and wifi/broadband connectivity. They are then deployed in corporate offices, factories, retail clinics and ambulances where they are able to connect health consumers (especially female workers who otherwise have highly restricted access to women's health) to remotely located female doctors. These trusted intermediaries are trained to conduct sophisticated diagnostic and interventional procedures such as antenatal ultrasound under the supervision and guidance of a remotely located female doctor. Read more here.

  • Khushi Baby: 800,000 children in India die every year from vaccine preventable disease. Over 60,000 mothers die from preventable causes related to pregnancy. The issue however is not how many people are falling through the cracks. The deeper issue is that we don't know which mothers and children are falling through the cracks. The health system as it stands, on a foundation of slow paper-based entry, poor supervision, poor follow-up is not enough. Even with digital health systems in place, we can do much better. Rajasthan's e-health database, the Pregnant Woman and Child Health Tracking system, had 2.3 million mothers over the last five years lost to follow-up according to a recent CAG report. As a society we are defined by how we care for those who are most vulnerable – in this case the mothers and infants living at the last mile. Khushi Baby is on a mission to transform health care at the last mile by making the system accountable. For more information, click here.

  • Litesprite builds games to manage chronic health conditions. Their mental health video game, Sinasprite, helps people manage stress, anxiety, and depression, conditions that disproportionally impact women. Clinicians use their data to remotely monitor patients and identify high-risk individuals to prevent adverse events. Sinasprite is the first video game to win a U.S. Surgeon General Award and the only one recommended by clinicians today. Litesprite increases access to mental health tools for women of all ages with low to high risk behavioral health issues, read more here! 

  • Mobile ODT : Cervical cancer screening today is limited in its impact due to technological and infrastructure restrictions, leaving it as a leading cause of death for women around the world despite the fact that it is so easy to treat if caught in the first five years from HPV infection. Current screening programs rely on Pap cytology and HPV molecular diagnostics and therefore requires laboratory infrastructure, sample collection, and processing time of days or weeks that leads to massive loss-to-follow-up. Even in the US's most integrated healthcare system, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, approximately 24% of women who receive a positive result for high-grade lesions do not return for diagnosis and treatment, and 49% of women found to be high-risk HPV positive. And even when a woman is identified to be positive, she needs to then be referred to an expert clinician for follow-up diagnosis and treatment. Mobile ODT's approach has been to enable nurses and doctors in 29 countries around the world to leapfrog infrastructure constraints by using their Enhanced Visual Assessment (EVA) System, a connected, telehealth platform with a powerful AI that is significantly more accurate than Pap cytology and enables immediate remote expert support when required. Read more here

  • Vytal: Being a woman in developing nations comes with a lot of challenges - gender inequality, lack of education and health issues especially around reproductive health and chronic illness. Only 50% women receive the recommended amount of health care. A 2016 gender bias study, by KEM Hospital's Dr Kerkar, found that although they had a significantly higher co-morbidity burden, fewer women received treatment for cardiovascular disease than men. UnitedNation's SDG-5 clearly identifies a connection between technology, gender-equality and empowerment of women. "Vytal Healthtech" is owned and led by women who have worked in Indian healthcare for years. They believe that leveraging digital technology to educate and empower women for their health is integral to the achievement of SDG goals. Read more.