Pregmum is a device that monitors maternal and fetal health during pregnancy. It also provides a platform for storage of information and relays it to the appropriate medical and health care agencies for specific help.
Scarce medical facilities in remote areas and the inadequate number of nurses and doctors in primary health facilities are major contributors to maternal and neonatal deaths due to late response or detection of complications in pregnancies.
Timothy Kimemia, a system engineer saw the need for a platform that helps pregnant mums monitor the progress of their pregnancy after he saw how his sister went through a difficult pregnancy and witnessing a pregnant lady in distress headed to the hospital in a matatu (public transport vehicle).
Timothy applied for the #Okoamama Hack4Life Hack-a-thon organized by Villgro Kenya in 2016 where he met Bonface Sato a mechanical engineer, John Kiragu a Nursing Officer and Linus Wambugu a trained Public Health practitioner who doubled up as the team’s Business expert. Their innovation won $1, 000 to develop their prototype and incubation support from Villgro Kenya and Gearbox.
After developing their 1st prototype in March 2017 they were advised to make changes in terms of size and functionality to monitor the fetal heart rate and Blood Pressure.
Villgro connected them to Dr. Kenneth Chelule the Deputy CEO of Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute who helped work on capturing the fetal heart rate.
They have since developed the 2nd prototype which went through its first clinical test at the University of Nairobi School of Nursing.
Team dynamics was a major challenge at first given that neither of them were officially employed but they managed to come up with a management system that outlined their individual roles in the company.
They are the sole developers of the platform so that meant a lot of trial and error which translated to high costs before they got it right. During this period they operated remotely, held their meetings at Homeland twice a week and put together the device at Gearbox where they were given the space for free.
Timothy recognized the personalized and continued support Villgro Kenya has provided since they started out.
“Villgro has taken us as family. What is unique about the incubation we have received is that they have practically held our hand through our ups and downs. While other incubators drop start-ups when they do not meet targets, Villgro goes the extra mile. The belief in the potential impact our product has is also encouraging”
Currently they are focused on finetuning the product to fit the standards of ISO certification and the Kenya Bureau of Standards. To help with that they are fishing for key opinion leaders and advisors.
We believe this device can significantly reduce maternal and fetal mortality rates for those at the bottom of the social pyramid.