At this year’s ViVe conference, CEO Anish Sebastian gave Logan Plaster from Startup Health an update on the company, and offered his insights on how remote monitoring is upgrading the maternal health experience. 

Startup Health was one of Babyscripts’ first believers — they partnered with Babyscripts back in 2014 and were a critical part of introducing new investors and clients to the product, and spreading the gospel of #betterpregnancies. 


When Startup Health first partnered with Babyscripts, Anish was single and fatherless, as was his co-founder. The “Bachelors of Babyscripts” used their objective perspective to help demystify the pregnancy experience, and get into rooms that were unfortunately still closed to many women. 

Things have changed a lot since then. As the company has grown, so has Anish’s family. Married with a child (and another on the way!), Anish’s mission for Babyscripts has remained the same — now, it’s just more personal. And just as the objectivity of bachelorhood helped move the company forward in important ways, the personal nature of fatherhood has led Anish to a deeper understanding of the issues and furthered his commitment to driving solutions. 

“Going through the pregnancy and postpartum journey was totally eye opening — my wife is a trained OB/GYN, and obviously I do what I do — we thought we knew what we were getting into. Little did we realize how little we really knew.”

With the understanding that he and his wife entered the pregnancy from a very privileged position and still struggled with the reality of maternity, Anish and Babyscripts have doubled down on creating a solution that provides better access and support for pregnant mothers, despite income, race, or risk level.

Supplementing in-person care with remote monitoring is one way to accomplish this. Even when distance is not an issue, many women still face barriers to in-person care. Lack of transportation, childcare, time off work, lack of a supportive partner, etc. — all of these social factors can prevent patients from attending appointments and contribute to maternal mortality rates.

“A lot of the care that women typically receive through the prenatal period can be delivered at home. And that’s actually of bigger importance than may immediately be perceived. It’s not just a matter of convenience. Some women will choose to forego prenatal care altogether if the challenges are too great. And attending appointments is actually directly tied to outcomes. So giving them the ability to manage some things from home, and granting providers access to that data, is the next best thing to having them in the office.”

Health literacy also needs to be included in these barriers to access, as well as the difficulty of navigating the healthcare system. Healthcare is extremely complicated, and as a result of not understanding their coverage or eligibility for support, some women can miss critical health milestones that can lead to long-term health problems. 

Babyscripts has focused time and resources into creating culturally sensitive and simplified content to help mothers manage their care from home; helping cover gaps in education and information that might be missed in the limited timeframe of an in-person appointment. 

Ultimately, the goal of the Babyscripts solution is to empower women to take charge of their health, even if they’re getting less face time with a doctor. 

According to Sebastian, the biggest benefit of remote solutions is improved quality of care. Babyscripts, and other RPM solutions like it, have been shown to reduce the instances of preterm birth, and reduce the number of readmissions after childbirth. The highest risk period — and the one where RPM can fill a massive gap — is the postpartum period. That’s partially due to the structure of the American healthcare system that tends to emphasize the prenatal period and put the attention and focus on the birth of a healthy infant.

“It’s been my personal experience that support is lacking in the postpartum period. Breastfeeding, c-section recovery, getting back to life as normal whether you’re a working parent or not…we do a really poor job at helping moms and new parents navigate this transition. We actually go one full year with our postpartum education now at Babyscripts as we’ve become more aware of the huge gap and need that exists for these kinds of resources.”

High-risk moms are typically asked to come into the office 6-18 days after delivery, which can be a challenge for a woman who has just delivered a child — especially if they have other kids at home, no support partner, or perhaps are recovering from c-section surgery. Some of those women may take their chances and stay at home. 

“But what’s happening at those postpartum appointments is blood pressure checks. And those can easily be done from home and monitored more closely and continuously than in the office.”

Mental health needs — across the entire pregnancy period, but especially in postpartum — are also deemphasized, and Black and Brown mothers suffer the most. Many of those poor outcomes are related to lack of access, but some to the lack of trust in the healthcare system from women in those populations. 

“We have the tools to identify what mothers need, and a lot of times that might not be a white coat MD, but a care navigator, health coach etc. Building that trust and making connections for mothers is a huge deal for us.”

Listen to the full interview with Anish here, which also includes Logan’s conversation with Jade Kearney, founder of She Matters. Jade offers personal insights into the issues surrounding maternity care for Black and Brown mothers, emphasizes the importance of culturally competent solutions, and talks about what her company is doing to address the gaps in health equity.

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