- Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.
- Maternal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities.
- Young adolescents face a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy than other women.
- Skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborn babies.
- Between 1990 and 2015, maternal mortality worldwide dropped by about 44%.
- Between 2016 and 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the target is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births.
The ‘motherhood’ journey that a woman goes through, from becoming pregnant to delivering a child, can be both incredible and worrisome at the same time. But the numbers are anything but worrisome.
CareNx is one of the companies that are trying to address this gap in maternal health care in rural India with the help of technology. It provides end-to-end solutions to vulnerable mothers in remote villages and slums and connects them with modern healthcare facilities.
Launched in 2015, CareNx is the brainchild of engineers Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni. They had a first-hand experience of this anomaly in healthcare while working for a Mumbai-based NGO, S4S (Science for Society), where they saw a colleague suffer a miscarriage due to lack of awareness and timely medical intervention. The incident made them aware of the complications involved in high-risk pregnancies and how these could be averted with regular checkups, portable devices and skilled healthcare professionals. The duo set out to correct the anomalies with CareNx.
CareNx focuses on overall maternal health, from reaching out to expectant mothers in rural areas and screening cases of high-risk pregnancies to connecting them with a gynecologist. One of the major problems is that pregnant women do not attend regular check-ups at health camps.
However, using this technology, health workers or antenatal care (ANC) workers can use a portable kit during door-to-door visits.
CareNx’s flagship product is CareMother, a mobile pregnancy care platform. It includes a mobile application (app), a web application and a medical kit that is carried by health workers to perform doorstep diagnosis and tests. Health workers in various districts are given an antenatal care kit, which has the following in it – Blood Pressure Monitoring Machine, Urine Strips, Portable Weighing Scale, Thermometer, Measuring Tape, H B Meter, Glucometer, Fetal Doppler, and Stethoscope.
All these are integrated with a smartphone. Once the test results are entered into the app, they are stored in the cloud, from which doctors can monitor, provide feedback and look into cases.
A smart algorithm helps the health workers to detect high-risk pregnancies and connect them to a nearby gynecologist for further diagnosis and treatment. CareMother has helped the government, medical colleges and doctors to double their reach and reduce operational expenses by 50 per cent, claim the founders. The app is extremely user-friendly, and a health worker who is a grade 7 pass out is also able to use it effectively.
Technology is at the heart of everything that CareNx does, say the founders. It not only plays a crucial role in assisting healthcare specialists, reducing costs and offering quick diagnostics, but also allows for easier data collection through the cloud, and their analysis and reporting. Also, by using smart algorithms to screen high-risk pregnancies, CareNx helps doctors to manage patient load efficiently and offer a timely diagnosis.
Backed by a 10-member team, CareNX is currently working with the Maharashtra and Nagaland governments. Aditya Kulkarni, Co-Founder, CareNx adds, the brand’s long-term vision is to become a strong technology partner to health institutions for delivering doorstep care more efficiently and effectively.