Solve a woman's problem — this was the challenge which Divya Krishnan, Sundar Jagannathan and Senthil Kumar received at a hackathon. Kumar's sister was pregnant then and the trio decided to develop a wearable device that would remind her to take her pills on time and go for her check-ups. This was the starting point for JioVio, a start-up that provides IoT/bluetooth-based predictive maternal care.
The trio discovered that in rural areas maternal mortality rate was a big issue, while the need of the urban market was personalised care. They agreed that there should be common hardware for both markets, but with different approaches. Meanwhile they got the opportunity to work with AIRmaker, a Singapore-based accelerator, and registered the company there in September 2016. The team received a seed funding of about Rs.16 lakh and designed six bluetooth-based devices — BP, haemoglobin, SpO2, weight, temperature and FHR monitors. Since it's synced with your smartphone, the data is fed on to the cloud and can be viewed real time, both by the expecting mother and her doctors.
India being the focus market, the team wanted to do its pilot test in rural areas. The team moved to Bengaluru three months later and got incorporated in February 2017 under the name Olive Wear. However, the rural markets were a different ballgame altogether. Women in the villages were reluctant to travel since the only existing healthcare centres were far away and once there, the hospitals didn't have adequate staff. JioVio started passing on the products through NGOs which feature an easy-to-use IoT interface.
“You have to make the woman wear the BP machine, click one button and her data is there,” says Krishnan. The app was also made available in the local language and came equipped with an algorithm to screen high- and low-risk mothers.
JioVio is currently working with an NGO named Amrita SeRVe in two villages in Kerala and one in Tamil Nadu. The six-device IoT kit comes for a one-time fee of Rs.25,000 and a software subscription fee, which ranges from Rs.8,000-15,000 per year. One kit can serve around 50-70 pregnant women. Two such kits have been sold that is serving around 25 women and 40 children. The start-up has clocked a revenue of around Rs.66,000 till date. As for children, the start-up will be following the WHO method that monitors growth and motor-skills for the first 1000 days after birth. The 10-member team plans to cover around five villages by March and another 50 by December 2018.
The product for the urban market will be launched in a month. The company plans to have both a B2B and B2C approach to channelise the kits through hospitals as premium kits. Each of the six bluetooth devices would be priced between Rs.2,500-4,500 to be sold individually, as well as in the form of a kit to the urban consumer.
The start-up also has expansion plans in north India in the coming year and wants to explore markets such as Indonesia, Africa and Mexico over the next six months.