Janitri’s mission: Saving lives of mothers and children

This Changemakers chapter highlights how Arun Agarwal from Bengaluru, used technology to address maternal and child mortality, showcasing the potential of tech in healthcare.

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) ratio reached 103 in 2017-2019, following an 8.9% decline from 2016-2018. Although the medical world made steady progress, there were only slight improvements in maternal and child mortality rates in India. In response to the challenges posed by maternal and child mortality rates, the Indian government launched the Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme on April 12, 2005. This initiative credits a woman’s bank account with Rs 6,000 upon giving birth to a child. Additionally, the Matru Vandana Yojana scheme, which began on January 1, 2017, aims to provide essential care and nutrition to pregnant and lactating women who work. In 2016, Janitri came into existence, which also aimed at addressing this crisis.

The genesis of Janitri

In 2015, Arun Agarwal, a Bengaluru resident, decided to address the issues of maternal and child mortality differently. Having grown up in Alwar, Rajasthan, he was aware of the health challenges faced by women and newborns from an early age. Agarwal pursued his education in electronics at VIT, Vellore, where he discovered the potential of technology in mitigating health-related issues.

After completing his BTech, Agarwal pursued a Masters in biomedical engineering to deepen his understanding of the subject. Following this, he conducted extensive research on the topic and visited over 100 hospitals to gain insights into the problems they faced. In 2016, he founded Janitri, a med-tech startup, and began working towards his goal.

The challenges of funding for Janitri

Agarwal said, “Funding is crucial for introducing new techniques or technological innovations, particularly in the medical device industry”. This is why he began seeking government and non-government grants to support his vision. With the grants secured, Agarwal assembled a team. However, there were still other obstacles to overcome.

In the initial stages of launching Janitri, Agarwal encountered additional obstacles such as persuading people to adopt novel technologies and have faith in them. Currently, Janitri is developing a medical device and has initiated discussions with several hospitals to commence its trial usage.

From hospitals to homes: Versatile production for all needs

Janitri offers devices like Keyar CM, Keyar DT and Janitri (pregnancy monitoring software) for hospitals and mothers. Keyar CM is a beltless patch that connects to the ‘Janitri for Hospital’ app to monitor the baby during delivery.

Keyar Mini is a compact pocket-sized product that allows for home use. It lets mothers monitor their babies’ heartbeats through a mobile app called ‘Mother’s App‘. Keyar DT Lite tracks every fetal movement in critical pregnancies.

Beyond the city limits: linking rural communities

Janitri has benefitted 60,000 women by reaching over 250 hospitals in India and Brazil. They have trained over 1,000 ASHA workers and gynecologists to use their products. Janitri aims to extend their services, such as monitoring and medical advice, to remote areas that lack adequate medical facilities. Their ultimate goal is to create a world where no woman or child dies during or after delivery.

On-the-go medical monitoring for doctors

The Keyar patch, composed of silicone and plastic, is applied to the pregnant woman’s abdomen to monitor the mother’s and baby’s heartbeat, contraction, and movement. It’s available for purchase on the Janitri website and can be linked to the Daksh app. It is a mobile application that works on any Android-enabled phone or tablet. The app enables doctors to remotely monitor the health of both mother and baby and receive online reports. Agarwal claims that timely monitoring during the final trimester and labour using Keyar patch and Daksh app can save 80% of women and newborns.

Agarwal secured funding of Rs 1 crore for 2.5% equity in Janitri by representing the company on Shark Tank India’s second season. Janitri has a strong social media presence. You can find them on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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