Tag Archives: google cloud

Tools to help healthcare providers deliver better care

There has been a lot of interest around our collaboration with Ascension. As a physician, I understand. Health is incredibly personal, and your health information should be private to you and the people providing your care. 

That’s why I want to clarify what our teams are doing, why we’re doing it, and how it will help your healthcare providers—and you. 

Doctors and nurses love caring for patients, but aren’t always equipped with the tools they need to thrive in their mission. We have all seen headlines like "Why doctors hate their computers," with complaints about having to use "a disconnected patchwork" that makes finding critical health information like finding a needle in the haystack. The average U.S. health system has 18 electronic medical record systems, and our doctors and nurses feel like they are "data clerks" rather than healers. 

Google has spent two decades on similar problems for consumers, building products such as Search, Translate and Gmail, and we believe we can adapt our technology to help. That’s why we’re building an intelligent suite of tools to help doctors, nurses, and other providers take better care of patients, leveraging our expertise in organizing information. 

One of those tools aims to make health records more useful, more accessible and more searchable by pulling them into a single, easy-to-use interface for doctors. I mentioned this during my presentation last month at theHLTH Conference. Ascension is the first partner where we are working with the frontline staff to pilot this tool.

Google Health - Tools to help healthcare providers deliver better care

Google Health: Tools to help healthcare providers deliver better care

This effort is challenging. Health information is incredibly complex—there are misspellings, different ways of saying the same thing, handwritten scribbles, and faxes. Healthcare IT systems also don’t talk well to each other and this keeps doctors and nurses from taking the best possible care of you. 

Policymakers and regulators across the world (e.g., CMS, HHS, the NHS, and EC)have called this out as an important issue. We’ve committed to help, and it’s why we built this system on interoperable standards

To deliver such a tool to providers, the system must operate on patients' records. This is what people have been asking about in the context of our Ascension partnership, and why we want to clarify how we handle that data.

As we noted in an earlier post, our work adheres to strict regulations on handling patient data, and our Business Associate Agreement with Ascension ensures their patient data cannot be used for any other purpose than for providing our services—this means it’s never used for advertising. We’ve also published a white paper around how customer data is encrypted and isolated in the cloud. 

To ensure that our tools are safe for Ascension doctors and nurses treating real patients, members of our team might come into contact with identifiable patient data. Because of this, we have strict controls for the limited Google employees who handle such data:

  • We develop and test our system on synthetic (fake) data and openly available datasets.

  • To configure, test, tune and maintain the service in a clinical setting, a limited number of screened and qualified Google staff may be exposed to real data. These staff undergo HIPAA and medical ethics training, and are individually and explicitly approved by Ascension for a limited time.

  • We have technical controls to further enhance data privacy. Data is accessible in a strictly controlled environment with audit trails—these controls are designed to prevent the data from leaving this environment and access to patient data is monitored and auditable.

  • We will further prioritize the development of technology that reduces the number of engineers that need access to patient data (similar to our external redactiontechnology).

  • We also participate in external certifications, like ISO 27001, where independent third-party auditors come and check our processes, including information security controls for these tools.

I graduated from medical school in 1989. I've seen tremendous progress in healthcare over the ensuing decades, but this progress has also brought with it challenges of information overload that have taken doctors’ and nurses’ attentions away from the patients they are called to serve. I believe technology has a major role to play in reversing this trend, while also improving how care is delivered in ways that can save lives. 

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in October

As fall arrived, we fell hard for news about machine learning, new trainings for those working on cloud technology, and some tips about secure passwords. Bundle up and read on for what was hot in cloud last month.

We celebrated National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 
Cyber attacks constantly evolve, and we build automatic protections into our products to keep people safe. That’s part of the puzzle, with another big piece being what you can do to keep your accounts protected. We introduced some best practices for password management, 2019 edition, to offer tips on developing good habits around passwords. Plus, we explored some best practices around two-factor authentication (2FA) when using Google Cloud. And finally, we made the new USB-C Titan Security Keys available for everyone in the U.S.

Students of cloud can explore new cloud 101 trainings.
New trainings came out in October, designed to tackle a few of the big questions that come up when businesses are first moving their applications and data into cloud services. One big decision is whether to use Google Compute Engine or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Compute Engine is more similar to how businesses have been operating their technology systems, while GKE is a newer type of technology. The trainings can help explain the hows and whys of using and setting up each of the options.

We explored tech accessibility for Disability Awareness Month.
Accessibility isn’t just about physical spaces—it also matters that apps, online content and digital tools are inclusive of all users. So during Disability Awareness Month, we explored some of the Chromebook’s accessibility features, like the Select-to-speak text reader, the ChromeVox built-in screen reader, dictation tools and more. G Suite also comes with built-in accessibility features that make it easy to add closed captioning to your presentations, use voice typing tools and more.

We heard a story about jobs and tech changing together.
Changes at work can be hard, but can also result in great things. Lots of our engineering teams follow a model, developed here, called Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). It’s a methodology that helps teams build services that are reliable for users and that take the human element of technology into account—so IT teams on call can work harmoniously without getting burned out. This story describes how the Google team in charge of the network moved to this model. It involved changing the roles of team members so they can now do fewer repetitive tasks and more of the work to solve bigger problems.

Machine learning gets better at seeing moving images.
At Google Cloud, customers use our AI Building Blocksto get started easily with machine learning without requiring AI expertise. Recent updates to our vision products offer even more ways get insights from images and video. Customers use AutoML Vision to create models that are specific to their domain, so that they can get important information from images. AutoML Vision Edge, which runs ML models for devices like sensors, now detects objects in addition to classifying images. Plus, a new feature in AutoML Video means models can be trained to track objects in videos—useful for things like traffic management or sports analytics. In addition, a new feature in the Video Intelligence API can detect, track and recognize logos of popular businesses and organizations.  

APIs took center stage.
APIs are interfaces that enable different software programs to communicate with one another—think of how you can sign in to one app on your phone with the login credentials from another. As you might imagine, these APIs are pretty important in our interconnected world, and there are quite a lot of them out there. API management, then, is its own important area of using modern technology—it’s how organizations secure, analyze, and expose APIs in ways that make it easy for developers to build on them. Google Cloud’s API management platform, Apigee, was once again recognized a leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Full Lifecycle API Management. This report is often used by our customers as a reliable evaluation tool. 

That’s a wrap for October. Keep up on cloud on our blog, and we’ll see you next month.

The Singapore students using Cloud for smarter recycling

Coming up with big ideas in technology used to take the kind of time and money that only large companies had.  Now open source tools—like TensorFlow, which provides access to Google’s machine learning technology—mean anyone with a smart concept has the opportunity to make it a reality. Just ask Arjun Taneja and Vayun Mathur, two friends and high school students from Singapore with a big ambition to improve recycling rates.  

Arjun and Vayun realized that separating waste is sometimes confusing and cumbersome—something that can derail people's good intentions to recycle. Using TensorFlow, they built a “Smart Bin” that can identify types of trash and sort them automatically. The Smart Bin uses a camera to take a picture of the object inserted in the tray, then analyzes the picture with a Convolutional Neural Network, a type of machine learning algorithm designed to recognize visual objects.  

To train the algorithm, Arjun and Vayun took around 500 pictures of trash like glass bottles, plastic bottles, metal cans and paper. It’s a process that would normally be laborious and expensive. But by using Google’s Colab platform for sharing resources and advice, the students could access a high powered graphics processor (GPU) in the cloud for free. They were also able to access Tensor Processing Units, Google’s machine learning processors which power services like Translate, Photos, Search, Assistant and Gmail. These tools helped their system analyze large amounts of data at once, so the students could correct the model if it didn't recognize an object. As a result, the model learned to classify the objects even more quickly. Once the Smart Bin was trained, all they had to do was place an object in the tray, and the system could predict whether it was metal, plastic, glass or paper—with the answer popping up on a screen. 

Building on their successful trials at home, Arjun and Vayun showcased the Smart Bin with a stall at last week’s Singapore Maker Faire, and they continue to work on other projects. It’s a great example of how tools available in the cloud are cutting out processes and costs that might have held back this kind of invention in the past.

Why virtualized servers are like apples, and how they work

With fall around the corner here in the U.S., our thoughts at Google Cloud are turning to … baking. Apple pies, applesauce, apple crisps—we’ve got it all covered. 

Because, for us, when we think of apples, what comes to mind is virtualization, which is the way computer servers are divided up to be more efficient. No, really. Bear with us while we explain why. Most of the computers running the applications you use, like email and web browsing, are not just one computer. They’re a set of computers, divided up into virtual computers, also called virtual machines. (There are millions upon millions of VMs in the world, so you have an idea of the scale.) 

When this concept first arrived, it changed computing entirely. Instead of one computer in one physical box (remember those desktop towers we all used to have at work?), that one physical box could now hold multiple computers that members of the IT team managed through software (called a hypervisor). So the one computer that held all of the HR department’s applications and files, for example, could now also hold the finance team’s applications and files too, without having to buy another computer. Here’s where the apples come in: If you think of a single, non-virtualized computer as a single apple, virtualization is that apple, but sliced up. 

But what about virtualization in the cloud?
In the years since virtualization was invented, it’s come a long way, especially as the cloud has come into the picture. Now, each of those virtual computers (known as virtual machines, or VMs) don’t need to be managed by that special software on-premises, but can actually be moved to the cloud and managed there. So there are different ways a company might choose to move their VMs—usually containing most or all of the applications and data that actually run their companies—into the cloud. They might just move those apple slices as is from their grocery store package (on-prem) to a plate (the cloud). 

But they might want to update those servers to work better in the cloud and be more efficient, so people get the information they need easily and quickly. In that case, they may modernize the servers—so those apple slices might now be mixed with some cinnamon and baked into a pie. You can still make out the actual slices, but they’re different from raw slices and have different pros and cons. Or, the IT teams moving the virtual servers might go even further with changing and modernizing them, so now they’re applesauce. You can’t make out the individual servers, or slices, anymore. But they maintain the same data and information they had before, but that data can be used and accessed more easily and by more computers and users than before. 

What we find at Google Cloud is that moving those sliced apples into the cloud as they are is a good place to start. They’re familiar, and look like they did before, so it’s a successful first step in the overall move to cloud. From an IT perspective, it’s easier to keep managing those apple slices because you’re already familiar with them. 

But, eventually, your business might yearn for something beyond apple slices. And that’s when you have to start cooking a little bit. A logical step might be to turn those virtual machines into containers instead, which is somewhat akin to baking an apple pie. There are clearly similarities you can see between the virtual machines and your new containers, but it’s still different—and tastier. And, from IT’s perspective, easier to manage, since there aren’t as many separate tools to keep track of. Plus, containers let you pack even more applications in because you can use fewer computing resources for each container vs. those virtual servers you started with.

We see lots of different journeys to cloud and those are just two examples. For us, though, we like to help customers plan how they’ll get all those servers to the cloud. So no matter what you want to do with your “apple slices,” we’ll figure out the best recipe for you based on your goals, requirements and constraints.

Learn more about cloud migration.

TerraTalk is changing how Japan’s students learn English

With increasing classroom sizes, more paperwork than ever and new mandates from the ministry of education, Japanese teachers face an uphill battle in their mission to teach their students. 

Yoshiyuki Kakihara wanted to use technology to figure out a solution, with an emphasis on English language education. He created TerraTalk, an AI-powered app that allows students to have audio conversations. TerraTalk’s artificial intelligence can hear and process what the students say and give feedback, removing this burden from teachers, and reinvigorating the classroom by creating an atmosphere filled with conversation and English learning games. TerraTalk was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator, a program that provides mentorship and support to early-stage startups.

With nine acceleration programs and 341 startup alumni, we at Launchpadhave seen firsthand how  entrepreneurs around the world are using technology and startup innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems. In the third installment of our series, “Ideas to Reality,” we talked to Yoshiyuki about why he started TerraTalk, and where he hopes it will be in the next few years. 

TerraTalk app

A look at the TerraTalk English learning app.

When did you realize you wanted to make an impact on the education field? 

I grew up on the outskirts of Tokyo as a science-savvy kid and became super interested in foreign culture. I ended up leaving my high school to study in the United Kingdom. I did well academically back home, so it was quite a shock how my English fell short of being comprehensible at all abroad. It turns out that I wasn’t alone; in Japan, very few people reach conversational level at the end of secondary or university curriculum.

I feel that this is the result of an outdated methodology where too much emphasis is placed on explaining the grammar and little to no attention on putting the language into use. To make matters worse,  80 percent of teachers in Japan are putting 100 hours of overtime per month. They don’t have time to investigate, experiment with and transform the way they teach. When I learned this, I realized that I could help by creating a new technology to ease the burden on teachers, and make learning English more engaging for students.  

Who are your customers? How is your company positively affecting them?  

We do business directly with education institutions and local education councils. With our TerraTalk app, students can engage in role-playing style conversation lessons with their mobile devices. This enables teachers to ensure their students get enough speaking time, which is difficult to achieve with conventional classroom methodologies.

We are seeing students teach each other on how to tackle the exercises, sometimes creating their own competition out of it. In some ways, the technology we are bringing is humanizing classrooms, as it frees teachers from the standard lecture format.

How did you use Google products to make TerraTalk? 

BigQuery has helped us crunch massive user data to discover how people are using our app. Google Analytics is our go-to tool for marketing and search engine analysis. We use the TensorFlow family of machine learning tools and other numerous open source projects maintained by Google. We also use G Suite as a primary business tool, because of its reliability, security and ease of use.

Why did you choose to participate in Google Launchpad?

Google is a leading company in machine learning and cloud technology applications, which we heavily rely on. The prospect of receiving support in these areas was extremely appealing, especially when you are running a startup and saving time is everything.

What was the most memorable moment from Launchpad? 

We attended Launchpad Tokyo, which had seven startups in total. In a session called Founders Circle, founders from the startups got together and shared their biggest failures to date in a fireside-chat style. It was the moment where we became a true community, and many of us are still in touch after the program.

What advice do you have for future entrepreneurs? 

Don’t quit. Find a business or market where you have a natural advantage over other people. Whether your competition is other startups or established companies, it is the people you work with who make the difference.

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in September

September will always be back-to-school season, even for those of us who have been in the working world for awhile. At Google Cloud, we sharpened our pencils and embraced the spirit of learning new things last month with stories from customers, technology improvements, and a how-to for cloud developers. 

Mayo Clinic uses cloud to improve health.
Mayo Clinic is building its data platform on Google Cloud, which means that it’s centralizing its data into our cloud to access it and analyze it as needed. They’re also using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve patient and community health, since it can find interesting and actionable information out of all that data much faster and more easily than humans could. Mayo Clinic also plans to create machine learning models that they can share with caregivers to help treat and solve serious and complex ideas.

The small but mighty Pixelbook can do software development.
In the spirit of learning new things, we published some tips on using a Pixelbook for software development, including how to set up a workflow on a Pixelbook that can meet many modern developer needs.

Good marketing needs cloud power, too.
We also heard from advertising holding company WPP last month. They shared their Google Cloud adoption story with details on how cloud helps them provide everything that’s needed to run a modern marketing campaign. That includes work with media, creative, public relations and marketing analytics to help their many Fortune 500 customers. To help all these users, they have to be able to use all the data they collect and make sure there’s not overlapping data stored in different places.

Graphics apps and remote desktops need special capabilities to run well.
We announced the general availability of virtual display devices for Compute Engine VMs. Each VM is essentially its own computer, and these new virtual display devices can be attached to any VM that’s hosted and run with Google Cloud. The devices give video graphics capabilities to VMs at a cheaper price than the more expensive GPUs that are available, and they can help when running applications that have graphics requirements such as remote desktops.

Redesigned Admin console gets faster, more searchable for Chrome Enterprise.
It’s entirely possible that you’re reading this on Chrome Browser, which is Google’s own web browser. What you may not know is that on the back end, there are people who make sure that your browser and other systems are running smoothly at work: IT admins. To help simplify work flows for Chrome Enterprise IT admins, we redesigned a key tool that admins use to maintain their device fleet, browsers, apps, security policies, and more—the Google Admin console for Chrome Enterprise. Read more about these new features in the Admin console for Chrome Enterprise

That’s a wrap for September. Stay up to date with Google Cloud on Twitter.

How m.Paani seeks to boost 60 million Indian retailers

There are more than 60 million family-owned local businesses in India, that drive more than 90 percent of retail in the country. They also account for more than 40 percent of local employment.  Until recently, these retailers have enjoyed a consistent customer base for generations with little competition. Now, a billion Indians are coming online and there is a new digitally-driven Indian consumer to serve. With competition from new formats from e-commerce to big box stores, local retailers are presented with a new set of challenges that could put many of them out of business and leave a large portion of the population unemployed. 

Akanksha Hazari Ericson is using technology to provide a solution. The vast majority of local merchants in India are not digitized in any way. Akanksha’s startup, m.Paani, is empowering them with the tools to survive and thrive. The startup is currently working in India, and eventually plans to expand across other emerging markets. m.Paani was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator, a program that supports startups with access to Google technology, mentorship, and network. 

From running seven acceleration programs around the world and supporting 341 startup founders, Launchpad has seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems. As part of our “Ideas to Reality” spotlight series, we caught up with Akanksha to talk about her journey in starting m.Paani and where she sees the company going over the next few years.

When did you realize your mission to help local retailers? 

I got the entrepreneurial bug when I successfully built and grew my first venture at 21. I then decided that my next business would be built in India, contributing to the country’s economic development, and eventually other emerging markets as well. In 2009, I returned to India after completing my masters at Cambridge to work in the intersection of tech and agriculture. I spent a year living in villages across the country, looking at how we can use technology to increase farmers’ incomes. This is when I also fell in love with the local businesses with which I interacted, and realized the critical role they play in our economy. The beginnings of m.Paani were born.

What is the first step you take when you turn your idea into a reality?

Understand and build a relationship with my customer. I moved to Mumbai, a city in which I had never lived and knew no one, with a presentation and a dream. Walking the local markets every day, I signed up and sold our product to our first 50 retailers and a few hundred consumers myself. I strongly believe that if you don’t know your customer directly and can’t sell your vision, solution or service to them at the beginning, then you are in no position to ask anyone else to do so.

Are there Google products you are using and would recommend to other startup founders?

Yes, three core products help us run our business. First, we’re hosted on Google Cloud. Next, we’re using Firebase for event tracking, testing and marketing. We love the flexibility that Firebase gives us to keep being nimble. Finally, we use Google Analytics, which is an absolute must for any business and a pivotal part of each day.

Tell us more about your experience in Launchpad Accelerator. 

If you have to learn, you might as well learn from the best. Launchpad has given us great insights, especially in machine learning. The one-to-one mentorship session with Peter Norvig, Google’s machine learning director, was a standout moment for our team. The entire experience was truly enriching and would recommend it to any entrepreneurs.

What advice do you have for future entrepreneurs?

Find a very very big, meaningful problem to solve. Something that has a deeper purpose for you, and makes our world a better place. It is more important than ever now that we all look to solve real problems in the world, from sustainability to economic empowerment. Don’t expect it to be glamorous—at all.  Expect it to be unfathomably hard, and expect yourself to be more tenacious and resilient than you have ever been. But trust me, because it is purpose-driven you will stay motivated, and if you stick with it until its solved, you will change the world. 

What is the most inspiring part of your work?

Our retailers. These are family businesses built over generations, in some cases. My favorite part of my job is meeting our customers and learning from them. The most meaningful part of any day is hearing and seeing first hand our positive impact on empowering, transforming and growing a local business. This, more than anything else, is what gets me and our whole team up and excited every morning. 

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in August

Summer brought sunshine, swimming and vacations—along with some great stories from Google Cloud customers about what they’re doing with technology. As we pack away the beach towels, we’re bringing you some highlights from August.

Climb every (virtual) mountain.
Scaled any 10,000-foot mountains lately? We haven’t either, but we did enjoy this online climb of Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain, powered by Google technology. Two web developers are using Google Maps Platform and custom Street View imagery to offer virtual tours up to the top. They took a ton of 360° photos while hiking up and down parts of Zugspitze, then set up the technology and used various APIs—like Street View Publish, Directions, Roads, and Street View Static—to create the experience. Check it out for beautiful views without sore legs.

See the hardware under the cloud hood.
Even though the cloud can seem like an ephemeral idea, somewhere there are hardware chips powering the apps you use. To run our internal services, Google uses a new type of processors from chipmaker AMD that are super powerful, and last month we announced that they’re coming to the data centers that power Google Cloud products. Customers using Google Cloud will be able to choose products using different sizes of these chips to get faster computing at a better price. 

Fill up your shopping cart, with help from cloud.
Google Cloud customers are using our technology to serve their users in lots of interesting ways. Macy’s uses Google Cloud to help provide customers with great online and in-person experiences, and has streamlined retail operations across its network with cloud technology. They also use Google Cloud’s data storage and analytics products at their new distribution center to help keep track of merchandise more efficiently.

Making a business run better is a big job.
This post offered a look at the tradeoffs that CIOs and CTOs have to make as they try to figure out which technology to use to make their businesses more modern. They want the latest tools to be able to serve customers with better apps and websites, but choosing what to use—and training employees how to use technology—can take a lot of work. A new McKinsey research report explains ways that these technology leaders can avoid the tradeoffs by choosing technology wisely, and by encouraging a change mindset for employees. 

As we bid farewell to summer, we’ve got lots of stories in the pipeline for fall. To stay up to date, check out the Google Cloud blog.

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in July

July was a month for barbecue, ice cream and sunshine. Here at Google Cloud, we managed to squeeze in some of what we consider cloud computing fireworks, like a supercomputing record and new partner in bringing more storage options to businesses. 

The internet, under the sea
It’s easy to imagine all of what we do on the internet as just sort of floating around in the air. But there are actually thick cables under our oceans that carry data around the world, so we can get our email and web search results quickly. Google fully funds some cables, while others are shared. The new Equiano subsea cable will connect Europe and Africa once it’s done. It includes cool technological advances that give this cable 20 times the network capacity of the last one built to serve this region. 

G Suite gets even more security features
In Tokyo last month, we hosted another cloud conference where one of the big topics was security and how it works within our products. At the event, we announced that Google’s Advanced Protection Program now works with G Suite, so people whose data is at risk of online attack (think high-level executives) can be protected with help from IT. We also brought IT administrators new auto-alerts in their tools to help them see and prevent risky activity in their company. It’s powered by machine learning models.

Storing files is a big job
File storage enables businesses to store lots of files that users or apps need to access simultaneously. Of course, on a business scale, there can be thousands or millions of these files, so the underlying systems need to be able to handle that volume. Last month we announced that Elastifile is now a part of Google Cloud. Elastifile will be integrated with our Cloud Filestore product. This will help those managing large file systems to scale them quickly. 

Cloud beats not-cloud in machine learning benchmark 
Cloud TPU Pods are Google’s supercomputers built just for machine learning. They get faster in each generation of hardware—they’re now in v3—and set three new performance records last month in an industry benchmarking exercise. It used to be that this type of speed could only be achieved with on-premises systems, meaning hardware physically located and operated in a data center. Google Cloud is the only provider of public cloud technology that has been able to do these tasks faster than an on-premises system can. 

School’s not out for summer, after all
Cloud computing, like most things related to technology, is constantly changing. New concepts and products arrive regularly, and even the most experienced IT pros can learn new things. We offer lots of different classes and certificates, and just added a new class to our Google Cloud course catalog: theArchitecting with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Specialization. It uses both lectures and hands-on labs to demonstrate how Kubernetes works. It’s a new way of organizing and managing all the information that lives in your cloud, so there’s a lot to learn about how it works and how to get started using it.

That’s all for July! Stay up to date with Google Cloud on our blog.

Babymigo: technology for Africa’s new parents

With infant mortality rates on the rise in Nigeria, mostly due to a lack of doctors in rural areas, entrepreneur Adeloye Olanrewaju wanted to see if he could use tech to figure out a solution. This led him to start Babymigo, an online community that connects expecting and new mothers to resources, doctors, experts and other services

Babymigo was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator in Nigeria, a three-month program that provides mentorship and support to early-stage startups. With seven acceleration programs and 338 startup alumni, we at Launchpad have seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and startup innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems. 

In a new spotlight series called “Ideas to Reality,” we aim to share the stories of these founders and their startups through videos and written case studies. In our first installment, we talk to Adeloye about why he started Babymigo, and where he hopes it will be in the next few years.

Adeloye Olanrewaju of Babymigo

Adeloye at a Google Developers Launchpad event.

When did you first come up with the idea for Babymigo?

My aunt lost her baby due to complications arising from childbirth. Those complications could have been avoided if she had access to the right healthcare information. Unfortunately, her story is not a unique one. 

Today in Nigeria, more than 7 million babies are born every year, but the country still has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. To make matters worse, nearly 60,000 mothers lose their lives each year due to complications arising from childbirth. 

When I started my career working at a maternity clinic, I saw that the biggest problem mothers faced was poor access to verified health care professionals and healthcare information. I wanted to help and felt tech was my way to do it.  So I quit my job and started Babymigo, to use technology to solve these challenges. 

How does Babymigo use tech to combat infant mortality? 

We are the first and only platform that increases access to informed health decisions via SMS, an  app and a web portal. Our goal is to help expecting mothers get their questions answered by hyperlocal medical and child care experts. Today, our services have reached more than 100,000 users. We are looking to reach 1 million mothers by the end of 2020. 

What steps did you take to make bring your idea to life? 

I first found as many users as I could, and then conducted extensive research to better understand the problems they faced and what solutions they really needed. This saved us valuable time, allowing us to focus on the most important features our users wanted.

The Google Launchpad Accelerator was a big opportunity to diagnose our company. With the help of experts and experienced mentors, we were able to increase user growth and retention by about 20%. Being a part of Launchpad also brought us media exposure and significant investor interest. With Google supporting us, we saw a dramatic rise in the confidence of our investors and clients. 

Google products are at the center of building our platform. Through Firebase Cloud Messaging, we send notification messages to drive user retention.  We also use Google Analytics to better understand our customers, using its insights to take action, such as improving our website. 

Any advice for future entrepreneurs? 

Building a tech startup is a rollercoaster, so developing a strong mental resilience is key. Nothing can replace persistence.  Surround yourself with thinkers who push you. At Launchpad I had the chance to be challenged by my peers at every turn. Find a network that will guide you in the same way.