Growth on cards for breastfeeding help app after Google signs it up for AI healthtech scheme

October 6, 2023

Anya, the pioneering Bristol-based breastfeeding and parenting support app business, has been selected for a prestigious healthtech programme run by Google that could ‘turbocharge’ its entry into other areas such as conception and menopause.

Anya was founded by Dr Chen Mao Davies after she experienced significant physical and emotional health challenges with her firstborn.

She developed the business, formerly called LatchAid, alongside world-class healthcare specialists, AI experts and visual effects creators.

Its innovative app uses interactive 3D tech and AI to provide breastfeeding and parenting support, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Chen, pictured, said Anya’s inclusion on Google’s Growth Academy: AI for Health not only underscored its dedication to improving the lives of expectant and new parents, but also marked a shift in focus towards being a health AI tech leader, positioned to support all under-served health journeys using innovation and empathy.

She added: “Our unwavering mission has always been to provide users with empathetic and innovative 24/7 support.

“This incredible opportunity with Google will undoubtedly enable us to reach more parents worldwide, ensuring that they have access to the necessary support and resources during their transformative journey to parenthood.
“Moreover, as we prepare for our expansion into broader healthcare areas starting with women’s health, we look forward to extending our 24/7 expert support and empathetic companionship to an even broader audience of individuals seeking guidance and reassurance.”

Chen, a former visual effects specialist for Hollywood movies, launched Anya five years ago against a backdrop of the UK having among the worst breastfeeding rates in the world.

Nine in 10 mothers are reported to have given up breastfeeding before they wanted, citing pain and a lack of support as the primary reasons.

Anya has since supported parents in 100-plus countries and has also partnered with employers and is working with insurers and benefit companies as an employee benefit.

Earlier this year it was selected for a prestigious NHS innovation scheme that could make it a mainstay of campaigns to improve the UK’s low breastfeeding rates.

Chen said Anya’s participation in Google’s Growth Academy: AI for Health would ‘turbocharge’ the business with critical resources, knowledge and network necessary to apply its mission and innovation into new healthcare areas including women’s and men’s health, including conception, parenting and menopause when 24/7 healthcare expertise and empathetic companionship are needed.

Google’s Growth Academy for Start Ups organiser Yuval Passov said: “We’re excited to work with Anya, offering it the best of Google’s people, products and processes and equipping it with the tools needed to scale this innovative app.

“AI is the most profound technology that we’re working on today, and it’s incredible to help drive the growth of a new startup that is using this powerful technology to make a positive impact on the lives of new parents.”

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.