Indian Women Entrepreneurs Bring Health at Your Fingertips
As the world gears up to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 — Prime Minister Narendra Modi even giving up his social media handles on Sunday to women who matter — Indian women entrepreneurs have come of age and are helping millions remain healthy and fit on digital devices.
Born in Visakhapatnam, Sivareena Sarika studied mechanical engineering at IIT Kharagpur and then went to work with Furlenco before co-founding Pregbuddy app in 2017.
PregBuddy, available on iOS ecosystem, is the first peer-to-peer instant reassurance platform for expecting mothers based on their location, trimester, language, region and past medical conditions.
“Expecting mothers can now stay updated about her pregnancy cycle on the Apple WatchFace, track their upcoming tests and appointments, get medicine reminders, and view her antenatal calendar right from her Apple Watch,” Sarika told IANS.
Globally, PregBuddy is the only maternal healthcare app that allows expecting mothers to track their vitals and symptoms with the ease of Apple Watch, and shares that data instantly with her own doctor and hospital, so that they can proactively monitor their patients remotely.
“Our integration with Siri shortcuts, Apple’s new innovation, makes tracking vitals and symptoms a breeze. These can be recorded just by asking Siri. Also, our Watch App provides smart notifications so you or your loved ones don’t miss on any vital information,” Sarika added.
PregBuddy, which is being used by over 3 lakh mothers in India, is working on providing more secure experiences by integration with HealthKit and FaceID.
“Our Apple Watch App, for instance, has been developed by two young WWDC scholars, Harish and Tarun, with one of them still in high school,” Sarika informed.
Take the case of Wysa — a Bengaluru-based mental health wellness app powered by an Artificial Intelligence-based bot. Co-founded by Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, the emotionally intelligent chatbot uses AI to react to the emotions you express.
Used by more than a million people from all walks of life, widely used techniques like Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), yoga and meditation are employed to support people with depression, stress, anxiety, sleep, loss and a whole range of other mental health and wellness needs.
In March 2015, Jo Aggarwal launched ‘StayClose’, a startup which sought to help people struggling with loneliness.
Within a year, she realised it wasn’t a market fit and it would be difficult to woo investors.
The process pushed her into depression, a stage of her life which played a crucial role in the development of Wysa.
On the ‘World Mental Health Day’ in 2016, she launched Wysa which saw growth purely by word of mouth during the initial days.
By June 2019, Wysa had helped over 1.2 million people from 30 countries.
“Wysa is an emotionally intelligent chatbot that uses AI to react to the emotions you express. Unlock techniques that help you cope with challenges in a fun, conversational way,” said Aggarwal.
Apple Accelerator in Bengaluru has helped the company excel on its journey.
“The Accelerator helped us implement AI technologies, revamp design to deliver seamless user experience and helped build Accessibility features for the visually impaired so that they can break barriers and access emotional support,” a company spokesperson told IANS recently.