Pregnant? There’s an app for that
A pregnancy app that was developed to address the lack of information for African moms-to-be won the inaugural Huawei-sponsored category at the recent MTN App of the Year Awards. My Pregnancy Journey aims to provide all the information an expectant mom will need.
The app is Jacqueline Rogers’ second maternity-related business; she’s also founded a maternity wear range that she has since sold. The research she did for the clothing range showed that there was a lack of information available to pregnant mothers in Africa.
She says the continent’s high maternal death rate can be improved with more access to information.
Rogers says, “There are a couple of things that contribute to the high maternal death rate such as socio-economic challenges and poor healthcare services. These are the exact reasons that motivated my team and I to create an educational pregnancy app.”
My Pregnancy Journey (MPJ) was also jointly awarded the Best Woman in Stem solution at last year’s App Awards.
While the app was inspired by the needs of rural women, Rogers adds, "Even those of us in urban areas don't always get all the info we need. Sometimes when there’s a problem, we’re told to just ‘Google it’ but what will you search for when you don’t know what the actual problem is?"
Having information at their fingertips helps mothers know what’s normal and what is not. she says. The app includes a baby kick counter – doctor’s encourage mothers to monitor their foetus’ movements as less activity might point to a problem.
When a woman registers on the app, she needs to include her expected due date. This helps provide her with relevant content, based on her stage of pregnancy.
Some of the app’s other features include nutritional advice, weekly articles based on the pregnancy stage and tips for expectant fathers. Use of the app is free for the first three months. Thereafter, some features such as exercise and gynaecological advice videos will be charged for.
“We want to find more revenue streams so the paywall can come down. We’d also like to implement a voucher system so some in-app purchases can be used to sponsor access for underprivileged moms.”
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“Putting this app together consumed my life,” says Rogers. “It was very daunting because there’s a lot of content I wanted to include.”
She spoke to 240 women who weren’t happy with the fact that the available maternity apps did not cater to local needs (eg they use imperial measurements and product offerings aren’t localised). One of the MPJ app’s standout features is the sonar images available in 2D, 3D and 4D. "Sourcing the images was part of our initial work. Other apps offer stock images but I found a lady who owns a sonar franchise; she has hundreds of thousands of anonymous videos and photos which she opened up to me.”
The new category in the MTN App of the Year Awards, sponsored by Huawei, recognises developers who have integrated their app into the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem using one or more of the HMS Core integration kits. These kits help developers during design and development by providing frameworks and tools that bring added functionality. MPJ integrated the Analytics Kit which has informed the team which app pages are being visited the most, the average time users are online and where they’re using the app from. The In-App Purchases Kit will be integrated next.
MPJ was awarded R50 000 for winning the category and will be published in Huawei’s AppGallery, granting it access to AppGallery’s 700 million users.
“I have no tech background but I was determined to learn so I just started from the bottom, researching how to create an app before I eventually partnered with my developer, Warp Developers," says Rogers.
Developers with a complete app can visit https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/ to add their app to AppGallery.