The innovative AI-powered healthtech solution is backed by the Mayo Clinic
“The technologies used today are similar to what was in use when I had my four children and fundamentally the same technology in use when I was born. Very little time and money had been invested in this area of medicine, which allows us a great opportunity to disrupt the market. As I started the company, I was focused on developing a prenatal monitoring device to capture critical fetal biometric data, but as our team advanced the Marani solution, we quickly realized the monitoring device is a critical piece of a valuable broad prenatal care solution and we are focused on an end-to-end prenatal care solution,” says Ann E Holder, the CEO of Marani Health, for Forbes.
Marani is a company that has found their mission in helping pregnant women monitor their health at home with an AI-empowered prenatal telehealth solution. The need for this solution, says Marani, has been heightened by the pandemic last year.
How telehealth technology can help evolve pregnancy monitoring
Oftentimes, pregnant mothers are unable to access the medical care they need because of a lack of funds or proximity of their healthcare providers. This is particularly true in developing countries and remote areas where only 50% have skilled support at birth and over 800 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy or childbirth. In America alone, C-sections increased to 21% of all childbirths. The U.S ranks 8th out of 184 countries with maternal mortality rates that continue to increase while $50 Billion dollars has been spent annually on prenatal and postpartum care since 1990 - even though it's not having an effect on decreasing these numbers as much as expected overall.
Remote monitoring for patients and doctors alike has become a paramount with the advent of new technologies and MedTech solutions. Doctors can now monitor their high-risk patients from afar, while being able to connect more easily with them through the telehealth apps. Marani is offering new ways to capture and analyze more data in order to better understand whether a mother and her unborn child may be at risk.
Marani receives funding and support on its mission to improve heathcare outcomes
Since the very beginning, Marani was supported by the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Paul Friedman, the Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, who is also the solution’s idea father. Dr. Friedman is an electrophysiologist and one of the world’s most acclaimed researchers in the area of AI and machine learning in cardiology.
The company has raised $5 million since its formation, including the recent 3.7 million in seed round, as well as the earnings of the National Science Foundation Grant to support research and development for their pregnancy monitoring solution.
HTEC Group was one of the investors in Marani’s technology, but we are also their main technology development partner and a pioneer in dry-electrode and AI implementation in telehealth devices.
How HTEC’s team helps with new medical technology development
The project is run by our colleague, an incredible young woman, Masa Vukomanovic, who has been spearheading the product development forward despite the global medical disaster brought by the pandemic this year.
“Together with Marani, we have created a technologically advanced solution that will make pregnancy safer, reduce unnecessary outcomes such as C-sections, and ultimately save lives. The fact that Doppler ultrasound-based technology, designed in the 1960s, is still the most widely used form of technology for monitoring fetal health, is unacceptable. If you take CTG as an example, which is focused on heart rate and contractions, it requires mom’s presence at the clinic, it is very inconvenient, bulky, and not designed for home use, and lacks any AI capabilities. In short, current technology does not fit for purpose in 2021, and that is down to the lack of research and investment that female health receives. In addition to developing this potentially life-changing new telehealth solution, we were also delighted to participate in Marani’s recent fundraising round, which will play a significant role in ensuring the technology receives FDA approval," Vukomanovic, Project Manager and MedTech Strategist at HTEC, told Forbes.