Three young undergraduates of the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) have developed ‘HelloMom’, a SMS platform that seeks to reduce maternal and infant mortality by empowering pregnant women and mothers (with infants under the age of one-year) with invaluable knowledge and information.
‘HelloMom’, developed by Areefa Thassim, Sameeha Thur Rahman and Atheeb Hasan, provides advice and tips and Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered responses to questions on pregnancy and childcare via SMS to subscribers. It can also broadcast warnings on epidemics, and necessary precautionary measures to subscribers via SMS. The innovation emerged as the first runner-up of TADHack Sri Lanka 2017 organized by hSenid Mobile Solutions.
As per World Health Organization (WHO) data, everyday approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth while 2.7 million babies die every year in the first month of their lives and a similar number are stillborn. In recognition of the seriousness of the issue, the third Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations concerns the reduction of maternal and infant mortality. It has been identified that many preventable deaths are caused by lack of knowledge – which ‘HelloMom’ seeks to address.
In terms of advice, depending on the week of pregnancy or the age of the infant (in weeks), the subscriber will receive advice and tips. These include advice on how to maintain good health during pregnancy, proper childcare techniques and the stage of development of the baby. HelloMom will also remind mothers to give their babies vaccinations when they are due. The advice and tips conveyed to subscribers are approved by doctors.
Via the AI powered response service women can ask questions that they may have about taking care of themselves during pregnancy or taking care of their babies. These questions would be answered in real-time through an AI engine, which would be monitored by healthcare professionals. If the AI engine cannot provide an answer, these questions will be answered by a medical professional. By using the answer given by the professional, the AI engine can be trained to answer similar questions in the future.
Furthermore, HelloMom could broadcast alerts to all relevant subscribers regarding issues (such as epidemics) that would need their attention along with precautionary measures to ensure safety.
The HelloMom service would be a valuable tool to the subscribers as all messages sent are relevant to their stage of pregnancy or motherhood.