Microsoft gives life to ambitious healthcare startup changing the way we think about pregnancy

‘As a health start-up, we need instant credibility or else we fail. Microsoft is a vendor used by many health systems around the world. They’ve enabled us to achieve an immediate level of technical trust that gives our product more credibility.’  – Dr. Richard Williams, CEO

Total Mama is a healthcare startup planning to bring a personal touch to the world of childbirth. With Microsoft’s support, the company is working hard to develop a bespoke healthcare service for women before, during, and even after pregnancy.

Inspired by Intergrowth-21st (a University of Oxford study that examined nearly 60,000 mothers and babies from 8 countries across five continents), Total Mama’s aim is to replace the generic – and often misleading – advice currently available online. Instead of accepting the status-quo, the team want to instigate change across the entire industry

Backed by the best

Founded by doctors at the University of Oxford, Total Mama launched through the University’s incubator program – which offers guidance and support to new businesses formed within the University. However, this wasn’t the company’s only support line, with interest in Total Mama extending far beyond the University’s network.

‘It was a natural choice to approach Microsoft considering our initial funding,’ says Dr. Richard Williams, CEO at Total Mama. Total Mama received early backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which facilitated access to support and technical input as the company tested and developed their initial prototype.

Transitioning to Microsoft Azure

‘Microsoft is helping with the transition from our prototype environment and ensuring that we progress to an active environment with ease using Azure,’ says Dr. Williams. ‘They’ve also provided us with advice on how to develop the product.’

As the partnership between the two companies evolves, Microsoft is quickly becoming the go-to business provider for Total Mama. Not only does the startup receive technical guidance and financial support, it’s also implemented a host of Microsoft products into its core business practices, including Office 365 and Azure SQL Database.

‘We want to scale fast but we can’t do that if the infrastructure can’t be relied upon,’ explains Dr. Williams. ‘We needed products that aren’t just generically useful, but also address our product’s specific needs.’

Making the most of BizSpark

Building and testing application software can be expensive, so keeping costs down throughout development was critical to Total Mama’s success. ‘The free credits and reliability of Azure are having a positive impact on our accounting bottom line,’ says Dr. Williams. ‘Both in terms of money saved and from the reduced technical resources we would otherwise need.’

Since becoming a BizSpark member, Total Mama has successfully accelerated their development through Azure’s accessible and holistic platform, and Dr. Williams believes that ‘Azure is more intuitive than other, more complicated hosting products.’ This gives the company clarity, flexibility, and peace of mind as they prepare their product for launch in late 2017.

‘Our success is Microsoft’s success,’ says Dr. Williams. ‘There’s a mutual gain, which is synergistic and positive for both parties and, ultimately, for our end users.’

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