Janitri’s Wearable Patch Helping to Save Lives of Newborns and Mothers

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 6700 newborns die every day across the...

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 6700 newborns die every day across the world. Developing regions like India and Africa account for more than 99% of mother and newborn deaths. Statistics show that around 80% of deliveries happen in low-resource healthcare settings. Fetal heart rate and uterine contraction are the important parameters to monitor the status of both mother and fetus during the intrapartum period. But, because of lack of manpower and easy-to-use monitoring devices these are monitored inaccurately or ignored more than 85% of the time, hence leads to mortality/morbidity in case of complications.

Read more First Ever Wearable For Real-Time Monitoring of Neonatal Jaundice and Vital Signs

Janitri, a Bengaluru, India-based startup with a vision to stop newborn and mother deaths during pregnancy and delivery, has developed KEYAR, a portable & wireless intrapartum continuous and intermittent Fetal heart rate, Maternal heart rate, and Uterine contraction monitor. The device also communicates with DAKSH intrapartum monitoring mobile application for intelligent alerts and remote monitoring. The product is for the staff nurses/midwives/doctors which help them in monitoring the mother and fetus during labor phase. The intelligent alerts also help them in taking an early decision which eventually save lives during labor phase.

Janitri is a winner of the 12th IoT/WT Innovation World Cup® - the world’s leading open innovation platform that supports breakthrough innovations to become reality and connects techpreneurs with international tech corporations. Janitri was awarded in the wearable healthcare category at the 39th WT|Wearable Technologies Conference EUROPE.

Before starting Janitri (Sanskrit word for ‘mother’), Arun Agarwal, the founder of Janitri, visited 100+ hospitals, met 200+ healthcare professionals for the problem identification and validation in maternal and child healthcare. Mr. Agarwal has spent a lot of time with the different stakeholders like doctors, OBGYN, mothers, families, staff nurses, midwives, government, NGO to understand the grass root level problems and to understand why there are mothers and babies are still dying. He witnessed live deliveries and c-section and spent a lot of time in the labor ward to explore and understand the existing process, methodology, technology, protocol, etc. He found that Fetal heart rate and Uterine contraction are important parameters to get to know the status of fetus and labor progress but unfortunately monitored inaccurately and ignored more than 85% of the time and hence leads to mortality/morbidity in case of complications.

Key milestones reached by Janitri:

  • Janitri raised grants/funding from prestigious organizations like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, BIRAC (Govt. of Canada), Startup Karnataka, Villgro, IKP & Pureland Global Venture.
  • Partnered with esteemed organizations in India like St. Johns Medical College & Hospital, Naraya Health, Rangadore Memorial Hospital, WISH Foundation, AIIMS Delhi for clinical validation/usability study.
  • Janitri’s products have been deployed in 150+ hospitals and more than 30,000+ pregnancies have been monitored during labor period.
  • It has achieved ISO 13485 certification.
  • Pilot starting soon in Brazil, Kenya, South Africa & Ethiopia.

Biggest Challenges

Finding the technical expertise relevant to their technology was the biggest challenge. “If I would start the journey again, then I will first find the relevant technology expert as a co-founder. Another challenge is performing the clinical validation as per the global standard because of the unavailability of experts.”

Read more Wearable Motion Sensors Monitor Fetal Heartbeat, Could Save Unborn Babies

Future developments

Commercial pilot deployment of AI-based intelligent alerts. Country-wide product scale-up (India).

Advice for upcoming startups

  1. Be clear on the problem statement and market size
  2. Good understanding of the market segment
  3. Unique solution

Sam Draper
May 31, 2021

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