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OKC-based startup participates in Google accelerator for women

OKC-based startup participates in Google accelerator for women
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Dr. Pinkey Patel, founder of Myri, a health application designed to be a resource for mothers, is participating in Google’s startup accelerator for women. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Pinkey Patel, founder of Myri, a health application designed to be a resource for mothers, is participating in Google’s startup accelerator for women. (Courtesy Photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City-based startup is participating in a tech giant’s business accelerator for women.

Women founders are considerably less likely to receive funding from venture capital investors. In the U.S. and Europe, startups established solely by women receive just 1.9% of all venture capital funding, according to TechCrunch. Google launched the accelerator for women cohort in 2020 to create opportunities and reduce barriers.

Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders is a 10-week program for high-potential seed to series A tech startups based in the U.S. and Canada and founded by women. Participating startups solve technical challenges and grow their business through a mix of remote and in-person, one-to-one and group learning sessions as well as sprint projects. The program kicked off this month and runs through May.

Dr. Pinkey Patel, CEO and Founder of Myri, a postpartum rehab and support mobile application was selected to participate in this year’s cohort. Patel looks to be a leading resource in the next generation of women’s healthcare by providing low-cost postpartum care directly to mobile devices through the Myri Health application.

The inspiration for the technology came from her own experience. Patel is a pharmacist by trade and a personal trainer specializing in pre and postnatal fitness. After having her daughter in 2019, she recognized a large gap in resources from maternal to postpartum care. She began building the application when she was pregnant with her second child while working full-time with United Healthcare. Two years ago, she left the company to focus her efforts on Myri.

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The application has been in the works for about four years. It’s now available in 156 countries. Patel said Myri started as a postpartum application, but she is expanding the product line into pregnancy care. She said there’s applications that tell someone what to expect when they’re pregnant, but nothing for after they have a child, and that’s a space that Myri was designed to fill.

“It’s an evidence-based resource, with everything from personalized physical therapy to anonymous communities,” Patel said.

Myri is the only Oklahoma company in the cohort and was selected from thousands of applicants. In May, Patel will visit Google headquarters in California to participate in the in-person portion of the accelerator. She hopes it will help Myri develop a presence on the West Coast and in Silicon Valley.

“Since we’re also expanding our product line into pregnancy care, and we have interest from specific countries, we’re also going to utilize their help and mentorship as we translate the app into 77 languages, and also introduce AI and (machine learning) technology into our application,” Patel said.

Patel said every mother should receive postpartum physical therapy and highlighted its use as a modality following knee surgery or hip replacement.

“With postpartum, you reorganize your organs and have a baby, and other countries have prioritized physician therapy as part of their postpartum care, but here it’s not,” Patel said.

Myri was built with algorithms, but Patel said she intends to responsibly use AI by taking the algorithm, using collected data points and then further enhancing the product to improve clinical outcomes. She said AI will enhance the approach with physical therapy and rehab for the mother.

Patel said another goal with Myri is to improve maternal mortality rates. In the U.S., there are 32.9 deaths per 100,000 births, according to the CDC. Patel said she’s trying to work with public health organizations and state health plans to get Myri into the hands of women.

CDC data shows more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths from 2017 to 2019 were preventable. Patel believes Myri will reduce complications of pregnancy and save lives. She said with AI, Myri can integrate with devices such as blood glucose and blood pressure monitors.

“That’s how we’re going to address maternal mortality is to expand from pregnancy all the way to postpartum,” Patel said.



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