The 2022 Women of the Year Awards: Innovator – Winner

The winner of the innovator category of The 2022 Women of the Year Awards is Flutter Care's Dolma Tsundu.

Dolma Tsundu of Flutter Care

Credit: Adam Blasberg

Dolma Tsundu
Founder and CEO, Flutter Care

Every two minutes somewhere in the world, a woman dies of pregnancy-related causes. That sad statistic holds personal meaning for Dolma Tsundu, whose mother experienced two complicated pregnancies. “With me, she had a very traumatic birth,” says the founder and CEO of Flutter Care.

Burnaby-raised Tsundu, whose parents are Tibetan immigrants from India, has always enjoyed creating things. Wanting to apply those talents practically, she did a degree in integrated engineering at UBC, where she found herself admitted to entrepreneurship@UBC’s Lean LaunchPad program in 2017 after winning an award. That introduction to business encouraged Tsundu to combine her varied interests in a way that felt true to herself, by launching a company whose innovative technology safeguards maternal and fetal health.

Flutter Care—its name refers to the first movements in the womb—is a mobile app that aims to predict and prevent pregnancy complications. “What we’re trying to do is to help inform and educate families on how they can protect themselves, while also giving them tools to be able to access education and track their data,” says Tsundu, who led a team of eight as of April.

The first complication that Flutter Care decided to focus on is stillbirth, which a pregnant person can help prevent by recognizing their unique fetal movement pattern, she explains. A changing pattern could mean that the baby is in distress. “Everyone’s normal is different,” says Tsundu, who is a certified doula. “Our technology is helping them to identify what their normal is so they can identify if there is that change and if they should go see their doctor.”

Since Flutter Care launched last fall, families in 45 countries have used the app. Data platform FemTech Analytics named Tsundu one of its global Femtech Personalities for 2021, in the pregnancy and nursing category.

Flutter Care, which has received funding from the National Research Council and several other institutions, is raising a capital round. With advocacy groups Baby’s Breath Canada and Bébé, the startup also recently launched the Canadian Collaborative for Stillbirth Prevention. Besides raising awareness of fetal movement tracking, the three partners are lobbying the federal government to act on prevention, Tsundu says. “Our goal is to reduce stillbirths within Canada by 30 percent by 2030.”