The App That’s Like A Virtual Midwife For Pregnant Women – Forbes
“When I was pregnant with my second child I had a complication that nearly killed me,” explains Bonnie Roupé, founder of Bonzun. “I had no idea I was so close to dying and couldn’t help but notice the lack of online support available.”
Roupé suffered from preeclampsia and didn’t know the symptoms she should be looking out for “let alone the words I should be using to describe it.”
“You had to go to the hospital first just to find out if you needed to be there or not. It all seemed very archaic, having to turn to a doctor every time there was a concern.
“I started to think that it would be useful for pregnant women to have all the information they need at the palm of their hand instead and that, in this digital age, it would be possible for me to build one myself. I could see very clearly how the software would work and I realized that if I didn’t build it, then maybe no one else would.”
In 2014, the Bonzun app was launched to target pregnant woman. It acts as a personal pregnancy coach with symptom checker, so women get the required help and know when to seek emergency care.
“When I started Bonzun in 2012, very little was being discussed in terms of digital health so few people could fathom what I was trying to build,” Roupé says. “Due to my own personal experience of complications during pregnancy, I spent a lot of time researching the resources available to pregnant women, I was surprised at how difficult it was to access medical information online that could be trusted.”
Bonzun, which is headquartered in Sweden, has reached more than 2 million people worldwide, and is used as a convenience in parts of the world like Sweden but as a lifesaver in places like Afghanistan and Somalia.
Now, Roupé says, the market is crowded, and there is fierce competition, but adds: “While there are a number of ‘pregnancy apps’ out there, Bonzun Pregnancy is the only virtual midwife designed for pregnant women worldwide and, as such, we currently have no direct competitors.
“As well as letting users consult accurate information about any unusual symptoms they experience in order to assess their severity, the app explains test results and outlines the bodily changes that the mother can expect as her pregnancy progresses.”
The World Health Organization’s maternity mortality report estimated that in 2018, 300,000 women died during pregnancy or birth, and 5.3 million children are stillborn or die within 24 hours of birth.
“The same report also states that the majority of maternal deaths are preventable and that a lack of information is one of the main causes that prevents women from receiving the care that they need. There is an alarming need for our solution, which, while already available to many, is not yet as widely accessible as it needs to be.”
Mothers-to-be are “treated like children,” Roupé adds, rather than adults, with the information shared with them being doled out in small portions and the dangers downplayed.
“On top of this, the digital revolution hasn’t been focusing on pregnancies at all, since it is not a disease. But still, disease within pregnancy needs to be prevented.
“At Bonzun, our aim is to change all of this and give the power back to the mother-to-be by making sure she has access to all the information she needs and that she gets all the benefits a digital world has to offer.”
Roupé says Bonzun is the only pregnancy app with a focus on digital health, as well as being the only health tech company that focuses purely on IVF and pregnancies.
The company’s newest roll-out is Bonzun IVF, sold directly to clinics in Sweden, Norway and Hong Kong, assisting women through the IVF process. There are currently 12 employees between the Stockholm and Kathmandu offices, and the Bonzun Pregnancy app is free to downland.
With the launch of the IVF software, Roupé is expecting a global turnover of $20 million for 2020 and hopes to grow the service to ensure it is available in all major languages across the world.