An app is born to help Haitian mothers
The idea for an app to help decrease Haiti’s maternal mortality rate was born in a class for people seeking to empower themselves. Bakley Smith, a New York-based tech developer with a finance background, met Winfred Tovar, a Bronx doctor with relatives in Haiti, in a class hosted by Landmark Education, which offers career training and development for professionals. The two hit it off and decided to form the partnership—a side project for each of them. Modification in Mother-Baby Statistics Initiative, or MIMSI for short, has come a long way in the past six months. Crain’s will follow its development over the next six months to see how far the idealistic duo gets toward their goal of decreasing Haiti’s maternal mortality rate from 630 per 100,000 to 160. Their app—if they can bring it to fruition—will measure and record parameters like blood pressure and weight to help determine whether a woman is at high risk for complications. If all goes well, MIMSI may expand to other nations with high maternal death rates. The first step for Mr. Smith and Dr. Tovar was to determine which features the app needed to help the greatest number of women. They decided to create a “prenatal cloud” to store patients’ medical histories. They also developed a budget: about $60,000 to develop the app and an additional $420,000 for medical equipment and vans serving as mobile clinics. And finally, they decided to form the business as a nonprofit, a 501(c)(3).
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