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BabyStream Pro

Device that allows local health workers to see a streamlined view & update the mother's info at every stage of her pregnancy

Photo of Cal Costic
31 12

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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

This simple handheld device would provide a place for local health workers to store relevant information about the mother and baby, view records, and present information to the mother. This creates more informed health workers, as well as a more personal relationship between workers and expecting mothers. The device is intended to be made accessible to those without smartphones, but the software would also be available as an app for convenience.

Hospitals have charts and even electronic versions of them, but not every mother will have convenient access to a hospital during her pregnancy. Mothers in remote areas must rely on local health workers. These local workers can provide excellent care, but one obstacle they face is a lack of information infrastructure that would be found at a typical Western hospital. This can make it difficult to provide the most effective care for the mothers in their charge.

With this device, mothers can store background information about themselves, and healthcare workers can save information about how the pregnancy is progressing—scans or test results, any treatments administered, etc. General information about pregnancies would also be available for the mother. The health worker could even input personalized information or treatments for the mother to follow. If the mother receives care from more than one professional, each professional could catch themselves up on her condition by reviewing the device.

The software could also be reconfigured into an app for mothers who have a smartphone, but I want to offer the the standalone device so that any mother could use it. A good business model would be to sell these to the local health workers who could then loan them out to women for the duration of their pregnancy.

In that vein, the user persona that would most likely benefit from this product is Arthur. Each of his patients can show him her device at the beginning of each appointment, allowing him to refresh himself on her condition and provide her with personalized, effective care. The device could also help Arthur coordinate with other caregivers more simply, shaving off another layer of complexity.

At what stage is your idea?

  • Back of the Napkin Sketch: I came up with this concept and would love support in making it come to life!

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Initially, I could observe workers in the local hospital as they interact with pregnant women and see what information they record and use the most. Next, I could use the results to create a paper form that would mimic the function of the device and get feedback from the health workers on its functionality.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Finding the cheapest way to manufacture it Would probably partner with another NGO to distribute it Still considering the name, this one may be temporary

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm still working on my undergrad degree and haven't had any formal design experience.

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • no

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

31 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Nguyễn Nam
Team

Hi Cal,
This idea is very awesome, and I think it can be applied to all kind of patients, not only the mothers and babies. I also love the idea of loaning the devices to women for their pregnancy duration. I guess it will work well in the developing countries. Besides, I would like to suggest an alarm system for our patients in case of the emergency.
I see your intention to produce the devices for people who do not have the smartphone. However, I think most people today have at least one internet-accessible device. How do you think about the profitability of providing the standalone device compared with a simple online app?

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

Nguyễn, thanks for your feedback! I think the device could be simple enough so as to sell at cost or for a small profit and still not be too expensive for patients and treatment centers. Charging a small price ($3 or less) for the app could also help to offset the cost of producing the device.

Photo of Payan
Team

Hi Cal Costic,

This seems like a very fantastic device which is very informative. If I may ask, do you have a patent or considering to get a patent on it?

Best,
Payan.

Photo of Gayanjith Premalal
Team

Hi,
Your idea and my idea tallies together and together they will add more value. Shall we try to combine them?

My idea: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/ideas/the-panchayudha-baby-monitor

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

You're right, they would work well together! I conceived of BabyStream Pro thinking about data, records, and communication for mothers and doctors alike. I would certainly want BabyStream Pro to be able to connect to health monitors, like yours, of many varieties for ease of data collection. I'm not sure it's necessary to combine them just yet, but let's see what happens.

Photo of Rasal Lia
Team

Thanks for your good thinking. I wish that now it's only a matter of time, the expecting mothers get the desired device at a reasonable price. Thank you

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

Thanks for your support, Rasal! I really appreciate it. If you think of any ways to improve it, don't hesitate to post them here.

Photo of Melissa Stegner
Team

Hi Cal,

This idea is very innovative and I'm glad you were able to provide an idea that incorporates users who don't own a smartphone. I think including a feature that notifies mothers when it's time to check in with their local doctor would be an added benefit to having the babystream.

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

That sounds like a great idea, Melissa. I'd definitely want to implement something like that. Now that I'm thinking about it, a notification mechanic could even be expanded to include medications, exercises, or other treatments. Thanks for the inspiration!

Photo of Abie Kanu
Team

Cal,
I think this is an awesome idea from reading about the idea and it is a great way for not only the health are provider to keep up with the pregnancy but the mother as well to understand where she is at and keep up with important info that the doctor would only have. my only concern is that it would have to be constant updated to make sure health care providers have the most recent information.

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

Thanks Abie! I'm glad you like the idea and think it would be helpful. Thanks for raising your concern—current information is vital and, frankly, kind of the whole point of this device! I envision two types of information on BabyStream Pro, and I'll apply your concern to both.
The first is general pregnancy information that comes preloaded on the device. For this, I would want to have regular content updates pushed to all devices to keep up to date with current research in the field. (They may not have to be frequent, though—maybe every couple of months.) Keeping the devices updated in areas with low internet access would be difficult. In those contexts, it would probably be up to the medical workers to update the devices somehow.
As for the specific information about the user, that would be updated after each of her appointments. Every time a doctor runs a test, scan, etc., they would input the new data into the mother's BabyStream Pro.

Photo of Terrill Thorne
Team

Cal,
I admire the aspect of "BabyStream Pro." I think this application could be successful if the time is invested into it. I think this could be an affordable direction versus visiting scheduled doctor visits for parents. I have a few questions regarding the expense of the application: Would users pay a monthly subscription or would it be free?

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

I'm glad you like it Terrill! I may be reading your comment wrong, but I just want to make sure it's clear: BabyStream Pro isn't intended to replace doctor visits, just make them less stressful and more productive for both mother and doctor(s).

Anyway, you ask a good question. Pricing would probably depend on how the device is distributed. If hospitals purchase them, they may decide to charge a one-time fee when patients rent one out, or they may offer it for free. If a patient is buying a BabyStream Pro directly, it would be a one-time purchase price to cover the cost of production, possibly with a small profit margin. The smartphone app would likely be free or $1-$2.

Photo of Samuel Darko
Team

Hey Cal,
This is a really innovative way to change the delivery experience for pregnant women, especially first-timers. It would alleviate much of the stress and anxiety involved with that process. Moreover, also consider that some of the clinics in third-world countries are not as tech savvy and some do not even have the basic bed or space for pregnant women to have a comfortable delivery. So is your product going to distributed towards all clinics or only the major hospitals in these countries?

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

That's a good question, Samuel. I think there are a couple different ways to approach that. One would be to distribute them to major hospitals and then allow those hospitals to further distribute the devices to smaller clinics as they see fit. Regardless, I think a device this simple could be useful for health workers anywhere in the world. It provides a way to get and keep track of information without "organizational infrastructure" (filing cabinets, photocopiers, printers, etc.)

Photo of Rahul Sundararaman
Team

I second what Rose said, the cost may be an issue. But, overall, this idea seems great and super well thought out! Something else I think you could tack on as a next step to your lightweight experiment is to create a super simple smartphone app to test out in modern hospitals (since they have access to smartphones) and see how that goes.

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

That's a good point! I probably could start with the app, especially since, like you said, the experiment would be taking place here in the U.S.

Photo of Rose DeLuca
Team

I love the accessibility of this idea. It seems like a versatile tool that has a lot of potential. Have you considered the cost of this idea? Production of these devices could be expensive, but you wouldn't want to cut too many corners or else it may prove difficult to use without training.

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

I've done some brief research on the cost of similar devices, and it varies wildly. I think because its main functions are data storage and organization, it should be fairly resource-light—that is, it should be on the cheaper end of the spectrum. I would need to research more though.

Photo of Erica Bryant
Team

Cal,

I actually quite enjoy the idea of this device because I feel it could be really beneficial to the mother, as well as to the doctors. If a mother were to have to go to someone that is not their regular doctor, they could just show them this device filled with their pregnancy information. That's awesome! It makes me wonder if something similar could potentially be made for people interested in having their medical records in general on a device like this so that they can already have previous background and doctor/hospital history!

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

You're right, I've thought about an idea like that before! Its applications certainly aren't limited to expecting mothers. It's been encouraging to see Apple and other tech companies making strides to helping people keep medical records on their phones. Of course as I stated in this description, having a more inexpensive device that accomplishes the same goal is never a bad idea. If BabyStream Pro were successful, I would definitely look into expanding its scope. MedStream Pro, anyone???

Photo of Michelle Dominado
Team

Hi Cal,
I like how you addressed that this device is for those who do not have a smartphone or internet access. Have you come across anything else similar to your device and if so, how does your device compare?

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

I've found a couple categories of products that share one or more similarities to my device. There is a plethora of "pregnancy tracker" apps that allow the mother to store various data about the pregnancy, but they don't seem designed for use by medical professionals. There are also a number of devices that can record/track certain data about the baby, but they are typically limited to one function. My device wouldn't measure any data directly, but the mother could input and store data collected by another device if she wishes.

Photo of Arjan Tupan
Team

Very interesting idea. There might be a challenge in the cost of the hardware, but I think it's much needed to have patient records in the hand of patients, in stead of spread across different health care providers. I once saw something that resembles this, a startup idea from Germany. I'll try if I can find the name again.

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

You're right: the cost of the device is one of the most significant obstacles to its adoption. I mentioned this in the long description, but I would definitely want to adapt the device's software into an inexpensive smartphone app for those who could make use of that. The hardware option is designed for people who don't have smartphones or internet access—I think it would be especially useful internationally.

Photo of Arjan Tupan
Team

The startup I mentioned is LifeTime. Find more at their website: https://lifetime.eu

Photo of Arjan Tupan
Team

By the way, in Germany, each expecting mother gets a "mother pass", in which all her details are recorded, including examination and test results relevant to the pregnancy. She's asked/required to keep the pass with her at all times. Every time she visits a doctor or medical service, but also in case of an accident, medical professionals have direct access to all the information they need. It is still quite old-school, as it is a little booklet in which info is (hand)written. But sometimes low tech works best.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Cal!

It is great to see you in the challenge. I have noticed that a few people from Richmond have posted ideas in the challenge. Is this coincidence or is the challenge part of a course?

There is a post in the research phase that might want to look at for inspiration - Pregnant women often have to travel an hour or more to deliver in rural America 

When you think about developing your idea, which rural area do you have in mind?

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

Hi Kate! You caught us—posting an idea on OpenIDEO was the first assignment for a Human-Centered Design class here at the VCU Innovate program. As far as initial release regions, I hadn't given it much specific thought yet. The article you posted mentioned Alabama, Florida, Nevada, and South Dakota, and I agree that the American South or West are probably most in need of a device like this one and would be a good place to start. The South might be better because it's a little more populated than the West, and that infrastructure could make rollout easier. If the device were successful, I would certainly want to expand distribution to remote areas all over the world.

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Cal Costic !

Welcome to the OpenIDEO Community!

We are thrilled you're joining our community of 133,000 innovators in all corners of the world! In developing your Idea to create this device, I'm wondering which of the following user personas this Challenge addresses aligns with your idea? https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9GhoNtMknwLbTAyZUJFczlDZ0U/view

Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with your post? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Cal Costic
Team

Both good ideas, and I've updated my post accordingly. Thanks for your feedback!