COURAGE, a platform recently launched by Vital Start Health, will help women with their pre and postpartum mental health and well-being challenges.
Fremont, CA: Many women, especially those who live in poverty or have experienced assault, abuse, or HIV/AIDS, find pregnancy and the postoperative period emotionally draining. Nearly half of poor pregnant women in low and middle-income nations suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental diseases. To offer women the support they need, Vital Start Health, a University of Pennsylvania business and a member of Microsoft for Startups has launched COURAGE, which is the next-generation, one-stop-shop, multilingual coaching and psychotherapy platform for maternal well-being assistance across the pre-pregnancy, maternity, and postpartum periods.
"Vital Start Health's unique tech-focused approach to maternal mental health and strong market potential puts it in a great position to succeed. We are pleased to see a Penn Center for Innovation startup company make significant progress in this impactful yet complex space," comments Michael Poisel, Executive Director, PCI Ventures, University of Pennsylvania.
"Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders is the topmost complication during pregnancy and postpartum, costing $19,000 per mother and over five years for treatment. Our goal is to disrupt this completely with affordable, effective care," states Kirthika Parmeswaran, CEO, Vital Start Health Inc.
The platform provides patients with hands-on practice and immersive psychoeducation to improve diagnoses and treatment success. The American Psychological Association has suggested virtual Reality for Mental Health. Vital Start has successfully completed a first feasibility study at a top Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, in addition to the existing body of evidence.
Vital Start Health expanded its network of Perinatal Wellness Coach practitioners and launched its Direct-to-Consumer 1:1 Coaching Service for mothers in maternity, including those with a baby in the Neonatal ICU or who need support through loss and grief during pregnancy, an area where there are currently insufficient resources. The services provide moms with a personal trainer for maternal well-being, which is made possible by inexpensive Virtual Reality choices. Persistent built the platform on Microsoft Cloud as part of the Microsoft for Startups program, which provided considerable support and guidance in bringing this unique platform to market.