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Published on May 28, 2024
San Antonio's BobiHealth Launches AI-Powered App to Make Pregnancy Safer, Emphasizes PrivacySource: Unsplash/ charlesdeluvio

SAN ANTONIO—Putting a high-tech spin on maternity, BobiHealth is striving to make the journey of pregnancy safer with its innovative AI-powered app. While founder Dave Esra may not have clinched the $20,000 at Geekdom's pre-accelerator program, his startup caught the attention of a keen investor ready to financially back his mission. "Getting on investors' radar" was the real win, Esra disclosed to the San Antonio Report.

The stakes are nothing short of life or death. With close to 800 women dying daily from preventable pregnancy-related causes, according to the World Health Organization, Esra's personal scare with his wife's high-risk pregnancy provided a stark impetus to tackle these odds head-on. The BobiHealth app, launched earlier this month, aims to seamlessly integrate into the daily lives of expectant mothers to precariously predict—through machine learning and AI—potential health issues like preeclampsia and hemorrhaging.

Esra's focus is not solely fixed on the health aspects; privacy is a paramount concern in this digital age. To address this, BobiHealth employs an architecture Esra calls “federated machine learning systems with differential privacy.” Suzanna Disesdi Cox, the AI architect behind BobiHealth's data pipeline, explained the data doesn't actually leave the user's device, a privacy-centric method that sends only learned models, not raw data, for aggregation, which Esra and Cox have both highlighted in statements obtained by the San Antonio Report.

The future of BobiHealth, now available in the Apple Store, seems twofold. Esra is passionate about the app's potential to sharply reduce maternal mortality rates, particularly among underserved communities, yet he acknowledges the golden nugget of business opportunities inherent in health data collection and security to investors. With the app already downloaded nearly 500 times, BobiHealth's technology, which they're seeking to patent, could be adapted "to change the way we look at a lot of disease processes," according to the company's medical director, Dr. Ken Marriott, who cited this potential in a statement to the San Antonio Report. Evidence of this expansion is clear, as Esra revealed plans to adapt the technology for caregivers of individuals with autism, proving BobiHealth's vision extends well beyond pregnancy.