January 12, 2024

Winner Of Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Initiative Reveals Gaps In Pregnancy Apps For Modern Maternal Health

Courtney Williams

A new study by Emagine Solutions Technology suggests that pregnancy apps lack key features to serve modern maternal health needs.

Emagine Solutions Technology provides a new level of care for pregnant women by combining handheld ultrasound and remote patient monitoring software to improve maternal health outcomes.

The platform was developed by Courtney Williams, who in 2021 won a second prize award for Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Initiative

The investment firm Black Ambition, founded by Pharrell in 2020, is dedicated to supporting Black and Latinx business owners.

Williams told AfroTech about her complications following childbirth during the height of the pandemic.

“I didn’t understand why there was not a remote solution in place by my doctor’s office for patients in this kind of situation,” she told them.

“It was then that I realized that technology could have saved so much time, money, and stress.”

Now, after launching The Journey Pregnancy App, Williams conducted a study to gauge how apps affect maternal wellbeing.

What Comes After?

With guidance and grant resources from the National Science Foundation, Emagine conducted more than 100 interviews for their study, “What Comes After?” from 2021 to 2023.

They spoke with patients, providers, experts, and insurers from diverse backgrounds across the US.

The study is an affecting portrait of how postpartum abandonment puts all women at risk, particularly women of color.

It also functions as a guide to rethinking pregnancy apps for the health of mothers, not just babies.

Apps And Maternal Wellbeing

While studies show that 30% of pregnancy-related maternal deaths occur well after childbirth, participants broadly agreed that most apps lack meaningful postpartum features.

Of those participants who used pregnancy apps, 60% quit or said they were going to quit immediately post-birth.

Reasons included non-existent postpartum features, poor content, complex design, and condensing tones.

The key requested postpartum pregnancy app features included strong mental health resources, dedicated human expert resources, and childcare information.

“Despite our means and resources in the US, maternal mortality remains an ever-growing crisis,” Williams said.

“I hope the report continues the dialogue of how we are failing those that are bringing forth the next generation of Americans.”

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.