Our solution's stage of development:Early
'CareMother’, a mobile pregnancy care platform for early identification of high risk pregnancies and providing doorstep antenatal care. CareMother empowers women health-workers and enables them to offer affordable diagnostic services to pregnant women. Existing implementations of CareMother have created 100+ women jobs and cared for 30000+ pregnancies from remote settings.
CareMother targets the problem of poor healthcare access, diagnosis and monitoring pregnancy care in remote areas. Though there are health workers appointed by hospitals on ground, they are not self-sufficient to provide effective pregnancy care. This causes poor health checkup and no risk identification. Poor consultation is mainly due to low doctor to patient ratio in these areas. Government has limits to reach and private players doesn’t have incentives to reach out the market in rural areas. Typically, mothers have to travel 20 km to reach a specialist.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
In resource poor settings, empowering ground level women health workers with smart/portable/affordable screening tools can bridge health access gap to the great extent. Such tools can make health implementing agencies (NGOs, Impact Agencies and Hospitals) much more efficient in their operations, expenditures and reach. Antenatal screening on a regular basis with early identification of high risk can drastically reduce complications during pregnancy to bring down mortality rate. Our theory is to build a pregnancy care platform that helps connecting pregnant women to the mainstream maternity facilities through ground level women health force in a cost effective manner.
Our target outcomes:
CareMother empowers women health-workers to offer low-cost healthcare access to needy pregnant women. With early identification of high risks during pregnancy period, we ensure safer births. Moreover, we offer them better connect with medical experts to save complications further. There are 20 million pregnancies each year in rural India who hardly get such quality services. Overall 59% of mortality can be saved if regular antenatal checkup are provided. Through our initial pilot in Urban Slum of Mumbai with UN Habitat, we offered jobs to 10 health-workers and identified 31% of the more early high risk cases with 28% escape rate.
How we will measure our progress:
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
Existing solutions provide mechanisms for health workers to record data but lack in providing on-field screening. Organizations like Dimagi from USA or Armaan from India have developed mobile apps for education and awareness, but they do not provide options for screening as well as do not identify the risks involved during pregnancy. Other solutions like HealthCubed and Neurosynaptic have vendor specific hardware dependency and thus incurs high cost.
CareNx focuses on reaching mother, providing at-door screening, timely and early identifying risks/complications and notifications to health-workers and gynecologists for immediate interventions. CareMother facilitates preventive care model to create an impact.
Why our solution is human-centered:
In remote communities, women health-workers are the primary touch point for pregnancies. We have made CareMother human-centric around them because they are trusted touch points who can spread education/awareness while providing diagnostic services. Moreover, CareMother app assists health-workers in knowing what healthy advice to give, what exercises to suggest and what diet should pregnant women take depending on her gestational age. Moreover, scheduler in the app alerts health-worker on follow ups and emergencies.
Gynecologists will get high risk mothers prioritized for consultations along with the reasons of high risks which saves his time.
How people will access our solution:
Our customers for CareMother are NGOs, hospitals or health institutions that have health-workers on board. They buy "careMother" (kit + app service) and provide it to their health-workers to reach out to the pregnant women (direct beneficiaries). There is one time fixed buying price + nominal service charge as per each patient for managing their health records afterwards. Through existing implementations with 15+ organizations, CareMother has enabled 3-fold increase in outreach and reduced at least 50% of operating costs to provide cost-effective doorstep care. Health-workers get additional income because of incentives involved in registering more and more mothers.
Technology-Readiness Level:9 (Commercial)
How we will sustain our team financially:
Currently for basic medical tests rural people need to travel on an average 15 Km. For pregnant women single visit costs more than USD 20, which is very high for them. As they do not travel alone but family members and loss of daily wages. There is already willingness to pay in rural patients for basic healthcare services and timely consultations. Our customers charge them 0.5 USD for tests which requires strips and offer all other vitals free. This sustains the procurement of recurring material. They are supposed to increase the charge to 0.75 USD in next year and also offer video consultation with doctors on charge basis. We by partnering with local NGOs will take contract from the nearby private/government hospital for offering these services on their behalf and charge per pregnancy USD 10 which will cover the expenses for health-worker and working staff.
The factors limiting our success:
- Convincing male family member to pay: Male is mostly dominating and earning family member. They do not want to pay for services due to negligence. Current observations show the community helps to convince family to invest on health. We have certain cases when facilities get engaged with pregnancy health affair because they can hear fetal heart sound and get emotionally attached with checkups.
- Sustainability: Rural Healthcare is tricky business and ecosystem is not fully ready. We are trying to enable health-worker provide additional value added services and earn more.
How long we have been working on our solution:2 years
How long it will take to develop a pilot:We have already developed a pilot.
How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:We have already scaled beyond pilot.
Our expected annual budget:
How much of our budget we've secured to date:
We're looking for partners in these fields:
Why we're applying to Solve:
We wish to scale CareMother with an objective to cover 3 million pregnancies by next 5 years. We have applied to MIT solve to get recognition and a platform to achieve following objectives:-
- Raise USD 700K to scale operations in India and other developing countries.
- Create partnerships among existing NGOs and philanthropic platforms like betterplace from Germany, AVPN from Singapore etc. to raise funds for CareMother initiative.
- Get in touch with pharmaceutical and nutrition companies to explore potential opportunities to make CareMother sustainable on ground.
Our current partners:
- NGOs:- Niramaya Health Foundation Mumbai, Foundation for Mother and Child Health Mumbai, Institute of Global development Himachal Pradesh, ECS Nagaland etc.
- Hospitals:- Hedgewar Hospital Aurangabad, DY Patil Hospital Mumbai etc.
- Public Health Organizations:- PATH India
- Strip manufacturers:- Tulip Group Goa, LabCare Mumbai etc.
- Research:- IIT Bombay, NUS, KEM Hospital Mumbai
- Mr. Aditya Kulkarni Co-Founder and Managing Director, CareMother