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Mental Health

Viola Davis, journalist Joy Reid, and radio host Charlamagne Tha God are among the partners that have teamed up with The Grio founder David A. Wilson and tech leader Brandon John-Freso to launch ALTR. ATLR pronounced ‘alter’, is a personal development app tailored to the Black community.  A Collaborative Vision for Empowerment ATLR aims to provide short-form audiobooks by Black luminaries and authors. It is currently open for early access sign-ups and is scheduled for an official launch in late 2024. The development of ALTR is in collaboration with JuVee Productions, founded by Davis

Backpack Healthcare, an online pediatric mental healthcare provider, has announced a $14 million Series A funding round. Backpack Healthcare Backpack Healthcare, formerly Youme Healthcare, is a tech company that offers an app and teletherapy services designed to provide accessible and inclusive mental health support for young individuals. Led by founder and CEO Hafeezah Muhammad, Backpack Healthcare aims to make a positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents struggling with mental health challenges. With studies finding that 1 in 6 children have a mental, emotional or behavioural health disorder, along with more than

Digital health startup Acclinate has partnered with Quilt.AI to enhance its Black maternal health initiatives through AI and cultural understanding.  Increasing Culturally Competent Healthcare Professionals Black women in the U.S. are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women. Acclinate is a digital health startup focused on improving health equity through technology and community engagement, particularly within communities of color.  Thanks to Acclinate’s NOWINCLUDED community platform, significant strides have been made in understanding the healthcare needs of Black mothers over the past year.  Data from the Mommy Listening

Dr. Dionne Mahaffey has developed an AI-powered platform, Behavioral Health Notes, to decrease the time mental health professionals spend recording notes. The Need For Efficiency in Mental Health Documentation The mental health sector has long faced challenges related to clinician burnout, increased by time-consuming administrative tasks.  According to a recent report by Accenture, using AI in healthcare could save up to $150 billion annually by 2026, mainly by reducing such inefficiencies. A solution was needed for mental health professionals, where documentation can extend into personal time. Introducing Behavioral Health Notes Dr. Mahaffey, a

A recent study has revealed that Black patients may be less likely than their white counterparts to receive responses from doctors to their online queries. The study in JAMA Network Open is based on examining medical advice request messages sent in 2021 to Boston Medical Center, a major safety-net provider.  As the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with substantial growth in patient portal messaging, the researchers scrutinized over 39,000 messages from primary care patients during this time. Black Patients Less Likely To Get A Response Of the patients included in the sample, 2006 were Asian, 21600

AI’s inability to detect signs of depression in social media posts by Black Americans was revealed in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This disparity raises concerns about the implications of using AI in healthcare, especially when these models lack data from diverse racial and ethnic groups. The Study The study, conducted by researchers from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and its School of Engineering and Applied Science, employed an “off the shelf” AI tool to analyze language in posts from 868 volunteers.  These participants, comprising equal

Postpartum difficulties and a gap in the wellness industry led LaDonna Welch to create a mental health app, Ebony Notes, designed to affirm the Black community. Meet LaDonna Welch Welch advocates for diversity, equity, representation, personal growth, and inclusion. After giving birth to her second child in 2012, she learned she had postpartum and seasonal depression when she went to a doctor to discuss her symptoms. “They suggested that I speak to someone, and I was in my 30s. At this point, I had never even considered talking to anyone,”

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

Developer and entrepreneur Ida Byrd-Hill is the visionary behind the Life Culture Audit vision board app, helping the Black community set and achieve their career and finance goals. The power of visualization Ida Byrd-Hill knows firsthand how visualization can change your life. In 2017, she founded the cybersecurity and tech re-skilling firm Automation Workz 4 U, later named Automation Workz Institute. When investors refused to invest in her firm, Byrd-Hill decided to sell her Detroit residence, car, and retirement funds and enter voluntary poverty. Four years later, Byrd-Hill has managed to

A Black birthing review app, Irth, is making its way into hospitals to improve Black families’ experiences. The Irth App Irth is a mobile app that collects and shares healthcare reviews from parents of color. The name comes from the word birth, with the ‘b’ dropped for bias. The app helps Black and brown women and birthing people have a safer and more empowered pregnancy experience by allowing users to see how other parents of color experience care from a doctor or at a hospital. The app enables Black birthing

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