Pregnant women throughout Germany face a lack of midwives and overworked gynaecologists. Their plight is no different in Hamburg and can quickly become dangerous especially for high-risk pregnancies. In 2016, the Hamburg-based start-up Onelife Health developed an app called Femisphere to link mobile phone technology with individual counselling and improve the care of pregnant women. Hamburg News has taken a closer look at the Hanseatic app, which is a certified medical device.
Promoting development of networked health solutions for mothers and children
Founded in 2014 by David Schärf and Marco Gattiby, Onelife Health in Speicherstadt is developing intelligent health solutions for women supported by partners like Philips. In February 2018, Philips acquired a minority interest in the firm marking the start of co-operation to further develop Femisphere. Bernd Laudahn, Manager of Philips Personal Health DACH, said: “Onelife’s ideas and solutions go perfectly with our company’s strategic realignment. Our focus is clearly on health of which the segments fertility, pregnancy and birth are naturally an important pillar.”
Developed with gynaecologists and midwives
Femisphere is considered a medical companion for pregnant women and a digital maternity pass. A woman can enter pregnancy symptoms and data such as vital signs in a diary. Based on an algorithm, she receives tips on how to alleviate her symptoms and is advised to contact a doctor or midwife, if necessary. David Schärf, CEO of Onelife Health, noted: “Apart from that, we are highly-concerned that women are receiving false or even dangerous information through 'Dr. Google’. To prevent this, we and gynaecologists and midwives have compiled a database with several articles and videos about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding in the app. They are shown to the user at precisely the right time during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”
Expert advice per chat or video
In late April, the app added a new coaching function allowing an expectant mother to contact individual experts e.g. midwives, breastfeeding counsellors, nutritionists and psychologists per text using the chat function and in a video consultancy – regardless of location. Some health insurers are footing the costs of the app for pregnancy. Onelife Health is now planning an “All-round carefree package” on breastfeeding, diet and First Aid for babies and children.