Featured on GeekTime, 25Aug 2018

Translated version

This Israeli start-up analyzes mothers' own breast milk to check baby's nutrition!

Writen by Hila Haimovich. Go to the original article (Heb)

MyMilk's monitoring system enables breastfeeding women to track and monitor their breastfeeding and breast milk in real time and to discover problem in milk production or nutritional deficiencies.

There is no dispute about the great importance of breastfeeding and how healthy and nourishing to the infant breastmilk is. If until now mothers relied mainly on gut feelings, this Israeli start-up enables mothers to analyze their milk, and receive various recommendations and insights for breastfeeding management, preventative care and nutrition.

Spare the new mother unnecessary worries!

MyMilk’s monitoring system consists of a hand-held breast milk scanner, a mobile health App and information system for breastfeeding tracking and management, available to the mother and healthcare provider, alongside comprehensive laboratory breast milk testing. “In fact, we have transformed human milk into this powerful data source that reflects both on mother’s health, baby’s health, and the breastfeeding process itself” explained Dr. Ravid Shechter, co-founder of the company. According to Shechter, the system is a mother-centered system, with an application for the mother and an interface for the lactation consultant or other caregivers and enables a smooth continuum of care for the nursing mother and her baby.

The system takes the analytical data obtained from a small sample of mother’s own milk and integrates it with mother and baby health and habit information, and through AI systems, generate personal recommendations for the mother and the caregivers. “The system enables breastfeeding monitoring and adherence, management and differential diagnosis of breastfeeding complications such as pain or low milk production, promotion of mother and baby health, such as a personalized diet, alongside evidence-based telemedicine support for nursing mothers”, Shechter adds.

The idea for the product came up six years ago, when the two founders, Dr. Ravid Shechter and Dr. Sharon Haramati, had almost parallel maternity leaves. “As mothers, we realized that while we were well-monitored during pregnancy, there were almost no objective tools for monitoring breastfeeding and certainly not breast milk. On the other hand, as scientists, we realized that there is this biological fluid, human milk, that has been neglected from clinical progress in the last few decades, although it carries the ability to mirror mother and baby conditions, as well as the breastfeeding process itself.
At first, we thought we would generate only the digital system and the AI interface that integrates medical information with breast milk data, and then we realized that in fact all the clinically relevant analytical systems themselves for harvesting information from breast milk should be also developed”

“80% of medical decisions are supported by diagnostics. Breastfeeding, which today is the medical standard in infant care, has no objective tools for the medical staff nor for the mother herself”. 

Scheduled launch date, within 3 months

The breast milk scanner and the connected mobile health App are already available as a limited pilot with breastfeeding counselors, and mother centered side is expected to be available within three months. Today MyMilks breast milk laboratory tests are already available in a consumer directed model similar to companies like 23andme or the Israeli Futura Genetics: The mother receives a special kit for collecting and preserving the milk sample, then the sample is sent for testing in mymilk human-milk expert laboratory, and the results and recommendations are obtained online. The test enables monitoring of the source of breastfeeding pain, early monitoring of milk production problems, nutritional profiling of breast milk and personalized nutrition guidance for nursing mothers.

“These two systems are independent, but soon there will be full integration between them so that all the information management and recommendations will be in a unified system that includes a breast milk scanner, the possibility of ordering complementary laboratory tests, and mobile App for personal breastfeeding management, information management for caregiver, personal insights and direct contact with professionals, such as a lactation consultant.”

Since its establishment, the company has raised $ 1.2 million from private investors, from the medical laboratory AML and from governmental funding. The company’s offices in Herzliya include a team of 5, with the plan to set operation in Silicon Valley. The business model include direct sales to mothers and healthcare integration of the informational system and device. The current average cost is $190, but with the launch of the breastmilk scanner, the company will switch to a one-time purchase of a $99 scanner and a $33-90 monthly subscription for mobile health App use for personal insights and telemedicine support. The product is expected to be launched in the US during 2019.

What is your differentiation from other systems?

“There are a number of companies that focus on developing digital tracking solutions for breastfeeding mothers or telemedicine platforms for postpartum women, on one side, and few other companies that provide testing of breast milk for anecdotal aspects, whether directly to mothers or for clinical uses; But MyMilk is the only one that creates a solution that integrates informational systems to create personal breastfeeding insights, with analytical monitoring systems, including sensors alongside laboratory capabilities that already address a wide spectrum of complications of breastfeeding. In fact, we created a single platform that bridges the gap in the continuum of care for the breastfeeding mother and the breastfed baby”, concludes Shechter.