Indu Subaiya, MD, MBA, co-founder and president, Catalyst @ Health 2.0; senior advisor, HIMSS, speaks with Sonia Millsom, chief commercial officer of Maven, the largest virtual clinic dedicated to women’s and family health. They discuss why her organization strives to provide holistic telehealth care and move beyond the “femtech” category of software, products and services focused on women’s health. Rather than remaining in this vertical classification, they aim to become a core element in the health of families and communities.
When asked about Maven’s mission and how it plays out in everyday life, Millsom begins the conversation with a compelling story. She discusses a telehealth patient named Maria, pregnant with her third child and facing gestational diabetes with the potential for preterm or stillbirth. This was a new and frightening experience for Maria. Her obstetrician referred her to a nutritionist—but her numbers continued to rise and so did her fear. Feeling on her own, she found help through 24/7 access to the telehealth platform. With a nutritionist, detailed information, and daily check-ins, her numbers went down. She also received mental health support for her anxiety over the situation. Ultimately, Maria credits much of her baby’s healthy delivery to help from this virtual clinic.
Millsom explains that women’s health resources have become fragmented, with no easy way to access them. It has created difficult clinical, financial and emotional journeys for women like Maria.
“We're trying to change the delivery system, really thinking about that beginning of life as a way to impact this, even gestational diabetes,” she explained. “The impact on nutrition and all those components, from a long-term perspective, including the way she eats and the way she may feed her children, can make an impact for generations.”
Maven has created a community of holistic telehealth care with multidisciplinary providers. Millsom shared her vision to go beyond “femtech” to move women’s healthcare from a niche to a core market, focusing on the broader health of a family from the beginning of life. Her roots as a child of immigrant parents from India gave her global view of public health. Her time in the Peace Corps also adds to her experience, but it is her role as a mother that gave her the personal connection to the topic. Millsom experienced multiple miscarriages, leading her to advocate for her own healthy pregnancies.
With a background in public and private health and investing, Millsom was excited to create a more comprehensive approach to care, “from the beginning of the journey all the way from preconception fertility, maternity and prenatal delivery to postpartum care, all the way through parenting and pediatrics to age 10,” she explained.
The conversation concludes with Millsom’s thoughts on new opportunities for collaboration and innovation, making local connections, leveraging remote patient monitoring, and creating greater convenience for patients and families, including vulnerable populations at the critical point of beginning of life.
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