Every year, an estimated 1 million intra-partum still-births, 904,000 intra-partum-related neonatal deaths, and around 536,000 maternal deaths occur globally. During intra-partum period, fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring with uterine contraction is really important to know the status of the fetus. Existing device cardiotocography (CTG) for continuous labor monitoring of FHR and uterine contraction displays both the parameters in a graphical format. In current practice, gynecologists analyze the pattern of fetal heart rate & uterine contraction on a printed CTG graph to recognize fetus distress. Based on that, doctors take an early decision to prevent any mortality or morbidity. Current challenge with CTG device is that it is highly expensive, non-portable, and requires a skilled technician to operate and interpret the graphs. Moreover, in India, more than 70% deliveries occur in a low resources healthcare settings with the lack of labor monitoring devices and skilled health workers.
Janitri Innovations are working with a vision to see a world where no mother or newborn dies during pregnancy/delivery/post-delivery. To achieve this, they are innovating simple and easy to use products to prevent mortality and morbidity.
Their revolutionary product KEYAR is an affordable, easy to use, wearable and portable labor monitoring device for continuous monitoring of fetal heart rate and uterine contraction during intra-partum period for low resources healthcare settings. The device monitors both the parameters, analyzes the pattern and further gives color coded results and sound alerts if the fetus is in distress. The device also displays fetal heart rate and uterine contraction in a simple format which is easily interpreted by a low skilled health worker. KEYAR continuously transmits the data to another product called DAKSH, which is an intelligent intra-partum monitoring mobile application. This product connects the gynecologist/doctor with the maternity ward in real-time, thus enabling them to view the data remotely on their mobile application.
An Inspiring Leader
Arun Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Janitri Innovations, is native to a small town in India, since his childhood he witnessed many of his family members and neighbors suffer from health problem like diabetes, malaria, jaundice, pneumonia and many more. During his undergraduate study, he realized that technology can solve most of the healthcare related problems and that motivated him to pursue a post-graduation in biomedical engineering. After completing his PG, he started visiting villages in India to explore health related problems. While talking to community, pregnant women, mothers, midwives and doctors, Arun was able to connect the dots with his childhood memories. He realized that maternal & child health is a huge problem in India and many deaths can be prevented by simple affordable innovations. Further, Arun visited more than 200 healthcare settings across India to explore problems related to maternal & child healthcare and decided to work on the problems through Janitri Innovations.
A Constantly Evolving Journey
“For any organization, team matters. We are a social healthcare startup and we look for a candidate who is passionate for his/her expert area and social sector,” says Arun. At Janitari Innovations, they follow the process of “do early, fail early” and innovate on daily basis for their product development, pilot, and internal process etc. They try to test the product or feature in the hospital (urban and rural) in real time to get the feedback of the relevant stake holders (nurses, doctors, patient). Based on the feedback, they take quick decision on modification or inclusion or removal of any technology component. They also keep an eye on their competitors across the globe and the market requirements.
“The biggest challenge is getting the right people in the team,” says Arun. The team includes people from electronics, product design, public health, mechanical, software and biomedical expertise. The combination of the skills in the current team is good enough for the product design and pilot product production. Janitri Innovations ensures to provide quality product, on ground training, refresher training and quality maintenance. This helps them to establish a long-term relation with the customers.
Janitri Innovations currently collaborates with state health department, hospitals, PPP mode healthcare organizations & foundations across India for problem identification, validation and product pilot. Their team spends a good amount of time in the field to understand the grass root level requirement which help them in better product design and pilot study. They aim at utilizing the same methodology for future products.