August 30, 2023

Redefining Maternal Care: The Black-Owned Startup Addressing The Maternal Mortality Crisis.

Ariana McGee founded Navigate Maternity, a remote monitoring platform facilitating equitable prenatal and postpartum care for pregnant women.

Black Women and Pregnancy

In 2017, over 1,205 women died during and after children, with the U.S. having the highest perinatal mortality rate of any developed country.

The United States is also known to be the most dangerous and expensive high-income country for childbirth, especially for Black and Indigenous women.

Black women face a nine times higher risk of maternal death than their white counterparts, regardless of wealth.

McGee nearly lost her fourth child in 2020 due to medical negligence, according to AfroTech.

Being pregnant during the height of COVID and having most of her appointments virtually online made her think if things were to go wrong, there could be a severe problem.

After going into labour two days before her due date and nearly sent home from the hospital, McGee was eventually moved to an operating room where she was told her uterus was “dangerously thin.”

Thankfully, her baby was born due to her doctor’s notice of the situation, and they both survived.

“If I had gone home that day and listened to the on-call doctor, my daughter and I could have died,” McGee told AfroTech.

“I experienced first-hand how easily Black women die in this process if they are not heard or do not have an advocate.”

Navigate Maternity

Navigate Maternity was founded by Black women in healthcare, and they are on a mission to provide data-driven solutions to address the maternal mortality crisis.

Read: Empowering Motherhood: The Black-Owned App Revolutionizes Pre and Post-Natal Care Through Technology

Their software platform pairs with an FDA-cleared wearable to connect providers with patient data in real-time, allowing care teams to intervene before a catastrophic event occurs.

The providers receive the data through wearables, such as a Bluetooth blood pressure cuff, worn by at-risk patients.

The platform includes real-time biometric data monitoring, virtual mental health screening, questionnaires and postpartum care.

“This data empowers care teams with the information to be proactive in treating their pregnant and postpartum patients,” McGee said.

“Our system’s use extends into the postpartum period, monitoring patients for postnatal complications up to a year after the baby is born.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.