After birthing twins, Jade Kearney Dube developed a tool to advance her efforts in the maternal health sector.

As AFROTECH previously mentioned, Kearney Dube founded digital health platform She Matters after feeling “invisible” in the healthcare system during postpartum. The platform requires professionals working with Black mothers to complete cultural competency training.

In 2023, Kearney Dube was faced with another epiphany after being dismissed from the hospital after giving birth. At home swollen, with two babies who were just 5 days old, she was simply given a magnet to place on her refrigerator to help her determine if her blood pressure was high. She recognized this was an issue.

“You can be a culturally competent physician and healthcare network and give all the resources, but once the mom leaves, she’s gone, right?” Kearney Dube told AFROTECH in an interview. “I’m on the third floor, and I have kids all around me. There needs to be something that’s on my body that can tell me, one, my heart rate is high, and that I may be in danger of high blood pressure.”

Kearney Dube went back to the drawing board after that experience and is now launching the Symptom Tracker app for these reasons. According to information provided to AFROTECH, the app will be available to expecting and new mothers to help them track blood pressure and symptoms such as preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets) syndrome.

It can be accessed on an app store compatible with an iPhone or Apple wearable device.

“I sat there and came up with the Symptom Tracker, and it’s really a convenience and helps moms because we’re so busy. We don’t have time, but every mom has her phone, or her Apple Watch or device they have. This is just a way to improve the self care that moms need, so we don’t have terrible lifelong morbidities due to maternal health,” Kearney Dube said.

The symptom tracker will also have the added benefit of notifying a chosen contact if the user’s blood pressure and heart rate have risen in addition to other symptoms.

“A lot of times women, not just mothers, second-guess themselves. ‘Should I go to the hospital? Am I okay? Well, I gotta pick my baby up.’ Your emergency contact will be notified to tell you, ‘Hey, this person should probably get to an emergency room.’ And I think that is even more impactful than your doctor because you know that this person really cares about you,” Kearney Dube said.

The addition of the Symptom Tracker to She Matters comes with a $2 million raise in additional funding, bringing the company’s total raise to $3.5 million. Recent investors include the American Heart Association, The Fund, and The Social Entrepreneurs Fund, among others, according to a press release.

The investment will also expand the company’s Cultural Competence Certification Program geared toward educating healthcare providers on how to better meet the needs of Black patients.

“This is the worst country for us to have children. So, in the Western world, we need to be taking a proactive approach and teaching medical schools and academic hospitals,” Kearney Dube said. “You should be sending your medical students, your teams, your residents, your doctors who have been there for years, they should all have some type of cultural competency due to the epidemic of Black maternal morbidity. This is a real issue.”

She later added, “Our culturally competent certification actually changes behavior, and it’s useful to build empathy because we require that every healthcare provider speak to a Black woman. You cannot get certified without that.”