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Maternity & Family Benefits

A Q&A with our co-founders about the impact of data and Ovia

May 9, 2019

Questions are being asked about what data privacy means. At Ovia Health, it means everything.

We founded Ovia Health because there is an opportunity to help millions of women -- and their families -- be healthier and happier.

Because our mission is to improve the health of women and help them grow their families, Gina Nebesar, Ovia co-founder and Chief of Product, and Alex Baron, Ovia co-founder and Chief Privacy Officer, sat down with each other to openly talk about data privacy, how Ovia Health works, and why Ovia is on a mission to help women live healthier lives.

Gina: Understanding how companies interact with your data is so important. At Ovia, your personal health data is never shared with advertisers, social media sites, or your boss. How do we ensure this safety in our platforms?

Alex: Ovia is a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST certified company, this means we maintain the highest possible standard for data privacy. This is the same regulation that medical professionals are required to follow too.

Gina: Ovia got started from the simple notion that people could track their own data to better understand their health and achieve their dreams of parenthood. Ovia women use our products to take control of their reproductive health for themselves and their babies -- they are amazing mothers.

Alex: Exactly, Ovia’s apps use data and machine learning algorithms to help you learn about your health, conceive faster, and have a healthy, happy pregnancy and delivery. Our goal is to reduce dangerous pregnancy risks -- no one wants a preterm birth and to see their baby in the NICU. By using Ovia, women are more likely to achieve a full term birth and get home sooner with their new, healthy loved one.

Gina: As a mom of two, I know how unknown and confusing pregnancy can be -- from wondering if a symptom is normal to figuring out how to tell people at work. What I love about Ovia is the ability to connect with other women and moms, who are going through the same journey at the same time, and find a bond that helps them feel reassured, or gives them the confidence to ask their doctor a question at their next visit.

Alex: That’s exactly it. By connecting millions of women together anonymously, we’re not only able to create a community for women and families on the parenthood journey, we are able to take millions of data points and help improve women’s health for everyone -- from alerting someone about a concerning symptom to telling them when is the best time to conceive. Data allows us to reduce the likelihood someone has a high-risk pregnancy, which means women and babies are healthier for it.

Gina: In addition to our mobile apps, we provide family benefits solutions for people at select employers. Women enroll into this benefit to receive clinical programming and coaching for reproductive health, fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and parental wellness from a team of registered nurses, midwives, lactation counselors, and health coaches.

Alex: With these benefits, just like your other benefits such as health insurance, everything we do is strictly governed by HIPAA. That means no one’s coworker, boss, or boss’ boss would know that an individual is using Ovia.

Gina:  Why is any information being shared with an employer?

Alex: We need to show employers that in total, the company is using and loving the Ovia Health benefit! For those who have access to the family benefit solution through their employers, we share cumulative statistics with select, authorized benefits personnel. The information that we share is broad and fits into big buckets like total number of people enrolled and the most popular content categories.  And, our policy for all information sharing complies with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  

Gina: Ovia’s employer benefits help women have the support they need and deserve so that they can grow their family and their career. You’re able to:

  • Access to a team of wellness coaches - Registered Nurses, Certified Nurse Midwives and health coaches -  so you can ask any question, at any time and receive extra support.

  • Receive daily health guidance and over 50 clinical, ACOG guideline-backed health programs that help you improve or maintain your health

  • Engage with evidence-based career programming that helps you navigate starting a family all the way through transitioning to parenthood and beyond

  • And find all of your healthcare benefits in one place. We make it easy to find all of the information you need as you start your family, such as:

    • Breast pump reimbursement

    • Childbirth class reimbursements

    • Parental leave policies and Mother’s Room locations  

    • Backup childcare stipends

Alex: Deciding to start a family is a really private decision. That’s why we work every day to ensure that Ovia maintains the highest privacy standards possible. Because the trust of our users is what allows us to improve health outcomes and make a true impact. With high-risk pregnancies and maternal mortality rates on the rise, and the disparity between how women and men are treated in their provider setting growing, it’s more important than ever that we help millions of women -- and their families -- be healthier and happier.

Our goal of helping women and families engage with their health is at the core of everything we do. It’s why people like Dr. Adam Wolfberg, our Chief Medical Officer, joined Ovia Health (read about his story here) and why we went to SXSW this year to host a conversation on maternity policies (read about our conversation at SXSW here). We’re excited to continue to transform the way women and families are supported on their parenthood journeys — both at home and at work.