Pregnitive, a women's healthcare company designs solutions to improve the health of mothers and babies.
Prenatal care is important as it helps prevent complications in pregnant women and assists in smooth delivery. It also informs women about the various ways in which to protect their child and thus ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Statistics from a government screening reveal that more than 5,50,000 women fall under high risk pregnancies.
Even with advancements in healthcare technology, one in every four women describe birthing as traumatic and close to 20 percent fall under post-traumatic stress disorder risk. While BITS Pilani- Hyderabad alumni, Pavan Kumar and Saad Durga Prasad were working together at Ducera, they would see pregnant women struggle and go through several tests at a nursing home nearby.
They felt there was a need in the space to build solutions that could help pregnant women.
They set up Pregnitive, a women's health company that designs solutions to improve the health of mothers and babies globally, while enhancing pregnancy and parenting experiences.
“We are in the process of designing and developing much needed innovations and solutions to help solve the biggest challenges faced during pregnancy and after,” informs Pavan.
Building the first device
Prior to starting Pregnitive, the duo were colleagues at Ducera Technologies and had worked closely on many projects and shared a passion for building great products.
To begin with, they decided to build a safe portable foetal heartbeat listener, which can be used by pregnant women even at their homes.
“Called Suno, it is a non-medical device, CE-certified consumer product, which doesn’t require any batteries and eliminates the use of sticky gel unlike other devices,” says Pavan.
The idea came when Pavan and Saad were discussing how they could make the whole pregnancy experience better. “We were discussing how listening to a baby’s heartbeat for the first time takes one on an emotional rollercoaster, and mums would love to have more ways to connect with their baby. There is no product available which allows pregnant women to listen to the foetal heartbeat safely in the comfort of their own homes,” says Pavan.
How does it work?
Suno is a small portable device that uses non-invasive technologies and performs its functions without any side-effects. It can be connected to any smartphone and can also record the heartbeat sounds to the connected device.
A completely cordless and battery-less device, the team adds that it can replace a Doppler foetal monitor. Apart from processing the heartbeat in real-time the device also counts the number of kicks.
Once the duo had the idea in place, they needed to contact the right people and manufacturers. They roped in Dr Jayanthi Reddy, a gynaecologist to help with understanding the medical aspects.
“We also hired a consultant who was a senior engineer from Modern India Engineers. He has consulted for projects in the South Indian Railways, and is known for his manufacturing expertise,” says Pavan.
Manufacturing and future
The product is manufactured in Hyderabad and sells online on Amazon, FirstCry, and other platforms. The team claims to have sold over 250 units at a selling price of Rs 2,000- Rs 2,500.
Currently, there are other manufacturers like Chimocee, Hannea, AST Works, Wusic, and many others. Pregnitive has run clinical trials of Suno at Maruthi Nursing Home and Gandhi Medical Institute in Hyderabad.
“Foetal dopplers transmit high frequency ultrasound waves into the pregnant belly and tells the heartbeat based on reflected sound. Suno is a passive, non-invasive device which doesn’t emit anything, it just picks up baby’s heartbeat, filters out the noise and amplifies the baby’s heartbeat. Suno is a direct consumer product, which comes under wellness and personal care categories,” says Pavan.
The team is now in the process of building a medical grade Suno, which integrates with clinical workflow for doctor and caretaker modules.
“We are also looking to use Artificial Intelligence in maternal health data to predict and improve many foetal health parameters and to help doctors make better decisions in case of complications during pregnancy,” says Pavan.