A social business: Aadhya


  • How can we create an innovative product with a support service structure that taps into a high-impact need as a commercial opportunity even while serving a social and responsible cause?


  • The simple design, lets a person, even without formal medical training help the mother diagnose her RISK RATING.
  • Aadhya provides a high convenience screening for pregnancies by adopting a pay-per-use model. This is through a network of Aadhya entrepreneurs, who receive their own business-in-a-bag.
  • We are currently preparing for testing to prove the efficacy of the device and the system.


  • Insights were found, through field research and stakeholder interviews. See the process of a typical pregnancy here.
  • A first prototype of the product has been made along with a system of service around it. It is supported by a viable business model and roll out plan.


Field insight

Design research with mothers, families and health-workers in rural India led to this key insight. Most complications can be avoided if women went through the checkpoints at the right time to spot anomalies, and get appropriate health care. The social and economic circumstances of the mother have a huge influence on this. The ante natal stage has the biggest impact on the outcome. Click image for download and a closer look.

System insight

The demand for medical expertise rising from the huge population is disproportionate to the limited supply of trained professionals and equipped facilities.

Clinical insight

Most complication are caused by 5 common conditions (Gestational hypertension, Fetal growth restriction, Gestational diabetes, Bactereurea and Anemia). These can be diagnosed with a combination of 5 simple tests that can be done by anyone, even without medical training.

Product solution

watch the video below

Aadhya Di has the device that generates the risk rating. The innovative design of the user manual with color codes for matching the tests, reduces the cost. Aadhya -Ma has the all the disposable single use parts, like the reagent strips and lancets for blood-sugar test. The pregnancy calendar which marks the dates for check-up, is also a pregnancy souvenir, on which the mother can make notes of special events. The entire process takes about 15 minutes, and the report is printed. The mother gets the risk rating and individual readings. On the back of the print-out, it has the recommendation of a nearby partner clinic.

System solution

An Aadhya entrepreneur uses the Di (sister) kit. The mother (customer) gets the Aadhya-ma kit, which is personalized for her. By adopting a service model, and splitting the parts, the cost per screening is greatly reduced for the user.

Why this, why now?

“Complications related to pregnancy kill a woman every minute. 99% of them are from developing countries.”
The current medical system in India is a disorganized game, with each playing by their own rules- the government hospitals, the single/family doctor nursing home, the religious / social group hospitals, and the corporate chains that care to invest only in big cities. The UN, WHO and UNESCO have published several papers in the last few years highlighting the needs. Maternal mortality is one of the Millennium goals that they have been struggling to keep up with.


Measurable impact

  • Aadhya reduces maternal mortality by bringing primary care to every woman.
  • Aadhya creates employment. At a minimal cost of 100 Rs, we see a market potential of 7 billion. This creates employment for 48,000 women, each with a monthly income of 10,000 Rs.
  • We are currently preparing for testing to prove the efficacy of the device and the system.

Nitin Sisodia, Stanford India biodesign fellow 2009 is a team mate. He has given key inputs from his experience in working with ante-natal care in All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Endocrinologist from Apollo hospitals Dr Vijaya Ganapathy is also a guide for the project.


Background image by Shreyans Bhansali

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