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The company will be delivering care both via telemedicine and through in-person clinics
Getting older is inevitable, of course, but not everybody ages the same way: there are people like my mother, who has been plagued with health problems for most of the last twenty years or so, and then you have those people who are 90 years old and can still play tennis.
Wondering what accounted for that discrepancy was what led Melissa Eamer to found Modern Age, an aging wellness platform that provides both telemedicine and in-person care. The company just raised a $27 million Series A round of funding.
"After seeing my parents and their peers grow older with vastly different outcomes, I wanted to understand why some people can stay young and active in both mind and body, while others seem to decline rapidly. How much was predetermined by genetics and how much can individuals control? I came across a set of research that suggests how old people feel has a measurable impact on both how long they live and the quality of those extra years," she told me.
Part of the problem is that, while there are specialized solutions for specific aspects of aging, there isn't a comprehensive resource that allows people to "connect the dots between all of the factors that help them feel young," such as skin, hair, bone and hormone health, as well as lifestyle components like nutrition, sleep and fitness.
"Most humans have a hard time making sense of so many variables, so I saw an opportunity to leverage technology to build a holistic and hyper-personalized approach to aging wellness."
Launched earlier this year, Modern Age combines digital tools and solutions, such as telehealth, along with in-person treatments, including at its flagship studio location in New York City's Flatiron district, which it plans to open by early 2022.
Users will start by taking a digital assessment across the different aspects that impact how old they feel, and then they;ll be offered a set of personalized recommendations including products, prescriptions and treatments. The company plans to initially focus on the areas of skin, hair, bones and hormone health, which Eamer says are some of the first places people start to notice the signs of aging.
"By offering a holistic approach to aging wellness, including digital tools to help users demystify and understand their options in addition to telemedicine and in-person treatments, we can offer each customer a very personalized recipe for feeling their best," she said.
One differentiation for the company, compared to current treatments for aging, is that it's targeting customers who are younger than when most people generally begin treatment, meaning its going after patients in their mid 30s, rather than those who are already in their 60s. The idea is to offer them a preventative approach.
"The aging process starts earlier than most people think. For example, skin begins to lose collagen and elasticity and bone mass peaks in your 30s. By the time they're 40, 40% of women have visible hair loss and their hormone levels start to change," she said.
The new round of funding was led by Oak HC/FT, alongside GV and founding partner Juxtapose, bringing Modern Age's total capital raised to $33 million. It will be used, primarily, for talent acquisition and technological innovation. The plan is for Modern Age to build out its team, which currently stands at 17 employees, growing it to 50, not including the staff in the clinic, by the end of 2022. The clinic will have its own clinicians and medical team, and the company will also be hiring a Chief Medical Officer.
Along with the funding, it was also announced that Annie Lamont, co-founder and Managing Partner at Oak HC/FT, joined the Board of Directors at Modern Age.
The ultimate goal for Modern age, Eamer told me, is to combine world-class medical professionals with technology solutions to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.
"Technology, when applied thoughtfully, can completely change our ability to develop truly personalized but scalable solutions. We have seen this outside of healthcare, certainly at places like Amazon. I believe healthcare and healthcare consumers are starting to benefit as well and that pace will increase over the next five to 10 years," she said.
"Looking at longevity in particular, I'm optimistic that applying data science to advance our understanding of aging at a cellular level will result in new diagnostics and therapies that will significantly contribute to increasing our healthspan. Not just how long we live, but the quality of those extra years as well."
(Image source: orissapost.com)
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