Why Women Should Start Investing in Their Own Health
The COVID-19 pandemic had catapulted technology to the forefront of most of our lives, and in the healthcare space, we’ve seen an astronomical rise in the adoption of telehealth—so much so that experts claim we’ve seen 10 years of progress in just 10 months. However, that advancement has been pretty limited to primary care and mental health; as far as pregnancy care goes, virtual visits and remote pregnancy monitoring is still very much in its infancy.
But the current state of care must change. In 2018, there were still 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the U.S., and 50 percent of American counties don’t have obstetricians.
“Tech development is critical to advance pregnancy care,” Deb Henretta, board chair of Nuvo Group, a company relentlessly committed to disrupting pregnancy management, told Worth. “If you look at the history of pregnancy over the past 50 years, there has been virtually no innovations or technology advancements in pregnancy care. The way I like to look at this is that the way my mom went through her pregnancy, the way I went through my pregnancy, and the way my daughters will go through their pregnancies has been virtually unchanged.”
But hopefully not for too much longer.
“Nuvo’s mission is to give every life a better beginning,” explained Debra Bass, Nuvo’s U.S. president and chief marketing officer. “And how do we do that? By reinventing pregnancy care for the 21st century with new technology, tools and practices. Our tech platform is called . INVU makes the mother the point of care, allowing data to travel across the home, the office, and the hospital. So, it’s one mom, one journey and one seamless data view. The platform has three key parts: a sensor band, which is the wearable for data capture; a dynamic cloud computing environment, which is really where all the heavy lifting happens in terms of the data capture, big data and AI tools; and then a visualization layer to enable connected care between an OB team and an expectant mom.”
According to Henretta, women set aside more than one hour for each in-person prenatal visit, including travel time, spending an average of over 800 minutes at in-person visits during their pregnancies. “That’s a hugely inefficient use of a mom’s time. And in a world with COVID, sitting in a waiting room, where you are potentially subjected to getting ill, is not a good thing,” she explained.
“One of the things that always amazes me about this whole space is that we often think of pregnancy as a disease state with patients to treat instead of a wellness episode to support the caregivers and deliverers of new life,” Henretta continued. “We need to start thinking about these women in a way that represents the fact they are healthy young women, with, for the most part, healthy unborn babies. We should want to keep them as healthy and as safe as possible. Bringing them in for regular wellness checks—especially at a place where there’s the potential for disease and other contagions—isn’t smart health care. So, finding better ways to keep [mothers] in a safe and healthy environment is very important to the care of pregnant women.”
While digital transformation in health care is nothing new, the void that’s been left in the pregnancy care space has primed the sector for disruption, innovation and investment. And for women specifically, this creates a remarkable opportunity for mothers and moms-to-be to take charge and begin investing in their own health.
“Women need to take responsibility in making their personal health a priority,” Bass told Worth. “And to make our own health care a priority, we need better technology. We also need tech to make care more efficient. In pregnancy, every mom wants to do what’s best for her baby. But many moms simply can’t comply with the burden of care. No one wants to miss routine appointments, but the burden of having to go to the doctor’s office twice a week, hire a babysitter, get across town and miss half a day at work for most people is untenable. It’s important that women take charge of their health, and it’s important that investors and companies spearhead the innovation to enable them to have better outcomes, more convenient care and a better overall experience.”
On the back of Nuvo’s first FDA clearance, the company is currently getting its product in market with early adoption customers and is expected to move into a crossover funding round in the not-too-distant future. For those interested in investing, you can reach out by joining the Nuvo community on their website, contact Debra Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Deb Henretta at email@example.com.
“I just love this company and what we’re trying to do,” Henretta concluded. “And I think this whole notion of being able to give life a better beginning is so powerful and so incredibly needed in the world of women’s health care.”