Our solution improves time to diagnosis and access to care employing Biophysics and Artificial Intelligence.
Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, and consistently one of the top 3 killers of child-bearing women in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that 60% of deaths were caused by PPH and that approximately 14 million cases of PPH occur each year. Fortunately, hemorrhage is a potentially preventable cause of maternal death, as timely recognition of PPH, determining the cause, and initiating treatment can be life-saving. Indeed, almost 90 percent of deaths due to PPH occur within four hours of giving birth.
Our team completed the National Science Foundation’s regional I-Corp curriculum and was granted lineage for the national cohort. As part of the customer discovery process for the curriculum, we interviewed general public (expectant mothers), providers (nursing, midwifery, and obstetrics both in the US and Mexico), as well as national organizational leaders (AWHONN, ACNM, ACOG, NICHD). While this was not a top-of-mind item for expectant mothers, we did find a great deal of support and excitement amongst providers (especially those in rural areas), and national organizational leaders as they view our solution as yet another effort aimed at mortality reduction via improved access to care.
Giving birth is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do. Out of every 100,000 live births, 216 results in maternal morbidity, but this statistic fails to convey how dangerous birth can be for mothers in developing countries. While worldwide maternal mortality rates are slowly declining, the risk of maternal mortality skyrockets in rural or developing areas, where child-birth complications pose a more substantial and widespread problem. Resource-poor countries and communities comprise a disproportionate 99% of maternal mortalities, and the rate of maternal mortality has continued to rise rather than fall. The most common cause of maternal mortality is postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). In rural and resource-poor countries, the chances of dying due to postpartum hemorrhage are nearly 100 times higher than in developed countries. Even in developed countries, 18% of pregnant women experience dangerous levels of blood loss, making PPH the biggest contributor to maternal mortality worldwide.
Today, providers have to rely on measurement containers, visual aid posters showing blood absorbed pads, or the weight of bloody materials as a proxy for the amount of blood loss. These methods are very subjective and unreliable. This coupled with poor access to timely care contribute to complications and the high mortality rates attributed to PPH. Early recognition of PPH and an objective measure of the blood loss will lead to mothers seeking care in a timely fashion, which can have a profound impact on mortality reduction. Our invention is a low-cost, portable, easy to use, and non-invasive hemorrhage detection device that combines optical spectroscopy with Artificial Intelligence to measure hematocrit levels from the bleeding mother to warn the provider of impending clinical deterioration and hemorrhagic shock.
Multiple solutions have tried to reduce the mobility and mortality rate caused by PPH, but these products have focused on treatment of PPH, and not the diagnosis. Furthermore, they are expensive and often require advanced medical training for use and interpretation. In contrast, Hemorai’s solution is the only action-guiding device that doesn’t require a specialist and will retail for a fraction of what others sell for.
Postpartum hemorrhage is a serious problem that affects more than 14 million moms every year.
Our invention is a low-cost, portable, easy to use, and non-invasive hemorrhage detection device that combines optical spectroscopy with Artificial Intelligence to measure hematocrit levels from the bleeding mother to warn the provider of impending clinical deterioration and hemorrhagic shock.
With rapid diagnosis and access to treatment, PPH is relatively easy to treat by clearing the placenta, stimulating uterine contractions, administering oxytocin, or performing a blood transfusion. However, early PPH detection can be limited for a majority of mothers in resource-poor settings. Yet, these challenges aren't limited to these areas since PPH continues to occur in 4-6% of pregnancies in the U.S. and significantly detracts from maternal health in the developed world. Causing death in 1 out of every 50,000 American deliveries, PPH should be a serious concern for mothers and providers everywhere.
Untreated PPH, caused by uterine atony when the uterus fails to contract after delivery, can lead to shock before potentially causing death. The majority of maternal mortalities occur within the first 24 hours after delivery when PPH is not diagnosed and treated quickly enough. Early detection of PPH is especially integral since symptoms often do not appear until significant blood loss and shock begin. When shock occurs, it could be too late to treat PPH if the nearest treatment is far away (which is a commonality in rural and resource-poor deliveries) or when delivery is handled at the residence by midwives.
Visual Evaluation and Quantification of Blood Loss are the most common methods for recognition of excessive blood loss by clinicians.
This is some of the equipment used today to quantify blood loss which is not required when using Hemorai's solution:
In this video from the Postpartum Hemorrhage Project (AWHONN), it can be appreciated the problem and existing solutions that require considerable effort form the caregiver. Hemorai radically improves the quantification process by eliminating calculation work and providing a more precise measurement of blood loss.
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Austin, Texas 78746, United States
DISCLAIMER. THE STATEMENTS MADE REGARDING THESE PRODUCTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THE EFFICACY OF THESE PRODUCTS HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED BY FDA-APPROVED RESEARCH. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT YET AVAILABLE TO THE MARKET.
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