Many startups have had to quickly adapt to the changing times and the unpredictable nature of the current crisis. Innovators across the world have also jumped at the opportunity to provide new and innovative digital solutions to solve challenges presented by Covid-19. However, innovating during this pandemic is not easy, and there will undoubtedly be many difficulties along the way. We spoke to Elliot Tikhomirov, CEO and Co-Founder of Estonian pregnancy tracker app Velmio, to hear about how they adapted their solution to track symptoms of Covid-19 and are now helping women by providing advice on pregnancies during the crisis.
NordicBaltic.Tech tracks the technology response to Covid-19 across the Nordic-Baltic region. The platform is made in partnership between the Nordic Council of Ministers and PUBLIC.
What problem does Velmio solve?
Hi, I’m Elliot, the CEO and Co-Founder of Velmio, an AI powered pregnancy health platform. Me and my co-founder Sophie decided to create a platform that aims to achieve two things. Firstly, it provides users with AI generated insights tailored specifically to each user. Secondly, we’re looking to expanding the domain of scientific knowledge by mining the data for new patterns and connections between lifestyle and pregnancy.
Our pregnancy tracking tools provide the most advanced life-style tracking functionality ever seen from mobile devices. From nutrition tracking to integration with a variety of variable devices, to have a complete understanding of the users lifestyle.
How has Velmio adapted to the current Covid-19 crisis?
In March, we decided to participate in a competition organised by Garage 48 and the Estonian government. The topic of that competition was how technology could be used to address the Covid-19 crisis. After looking at the problem from different angles, we realised that we had utilised many of the components of the pregnancy app and could use them in the context in Covid-19.
So in just 48 hours we created the mobile app for both iOS and android in which users could monitor their symptoms and lifestyle, to understand their Covid-19 risks.
Can you tell us more about the Covid-19 tracker?
The app was released in multiple markets around the world and received great feedback from both the users and the media. We have heard great stories about how users have able to use our tool to identify Covid-19 in the early stages and get medical advice as soon as possible avoiding significant health complications.
Some users have used our app to monitor the health of their employees in a work space. We even got contacted by multiple governments across the world about deploying our app as a national app.
Looking forward, how do you think the crisis will affect the demand for this type of technology?
Unfortunately shortly after we released our app, Apple and google released a policy prohibiting private companies from releasing Covid-19 related apps without being affiliated with a national government.
So what we did was we wanted to distribute the app directly to our users through our website. At the same time we saw an increasing demand for content on how Covid-19 can effect pregnancies from the users of our pregnancy app so we decided to take some of the features from the corona tracker and bring it back to the main Velmio app.
The results have been super successful. So far 25,000 women have utilised our Covid-19 content and the number is still growing.
So we are happy to see where this is going to take us!