“A mother with reliable information to hand always makes good decisions”. These are the words of María Berruezo, co-founder of the startup LactApp, whose experience when breastfeeding changed her life: an accident prevented her from having a “normal” maternal experience, and afterwards she found it very difficult to get back to breastfeeding. After managing to do so, she identified the need for reliable, personalised information, professional support and a network for both family and other mothers nearby.
“LactApp was born to make the experience of breastfeeding easier. It’s an application that gives a mother a digital expert in her pocket, accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Users receive personalised answers to their questions, based on their profile and their baby,” explains the CEO of the startup, Enric Pallares. To do this they use artificial intelligence that automatically “offers predefined answers that are highly segmented, using a very extensive, thorough decision tree”. They already have more than 76,000 different paths to reach over 2,300 unique responses.
As well as the automatic mode, there is also a chat function that, although “not in real time, allows us to have experts in breastfeeding, psychologists, midwives, paediatricians and physiotherapists that are specialists on the pelvic floor responding to each and every one of the messages manually,” says the CEO. It is with these very questions and answers that they train the artificial intelligence model.
LactApp independently resolves more than 35,000 queries per week from around the world, and it already has more than 200,000 users. In Spain “12% of all mothers who give birth” use it, says Pallares. It is also used in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the United States.
So, where does such success come from? “Our two main differences compared to other solutions on the market are personalisation and focus. LactApp is the only app that offers custom responses based on the profile of the mother and her baby; it does not provide the same information if the baby is 1 day old, 1 week old or 5 months old. This means that mothers find the information faster and better,” indicates the CEO. “When a child is born, everyone worries about how their baby is, but no one asks the mother what it is that she wants or needs: LactApp puts the focus on women, their choices and their decisions,” he adds.
They are now working with MAPFRE in the insur_space adoption programme because, as Pallares says, “a relationship with such a large insurance group and provider of healthcare services is an opportunity to build a sustainable business model that improves both the experience of users and the optimisation by MAPFRE of the solutions offered to them”.
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