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The company wants to become a single destination for all aspects of women's health
When it comes to dollars, the femtech space had an amazing 2021: through the first eight months of the year, startups in the space raised a collective $1.3 billion, already almost doubling the $774 million raised in all of 2020.
Increased funding doesn't magically solve all problems, though, and Livongo founder Dr. Kimon Angelides saw a number of issues still facing the space, most notably fragmentation, which led to waste.
"The femtec space is very large. Healthcare Services, including fertility, period care, menopause, supplements exceed $300 billion. Beauty and Wellness exceeds $500 billion. The issue is really that given the current fee-for-service system, there are many of these dollars that are spent on duplicative services," he told me.
"Over the last years, given the intense interest in women’s health, I’ve seen dozens and dozens of point solutions trying to address narrow areas in women’s health and came to realize that instead of getting better women’s healthcare was becoming even more fragmented, and quite frankly, broken."
There was also the issue that most of the solutions were built around reproductive care, which neglects a whole swath of the population who are in different stages of their lives.
What was needed, Angelides said, was a solution that was personalized to each individual woman, which is why he founded FemTec Health, a health and beauty sciences company, dedicated to innovating the women’s healthcare industry. The company uses science and technology to transform the healthcare experience for every woman, catering to her needs at her specific life stage.
"What we have to realize is that many of the ‘solutions’ are borrowed from general medicine or men’s health, and a woman's physiology is very different. The products and services and our approach to women’s health should also be unique. When you consider that women were not allowed in clinical trials until 1993 and 52% of women have felt dismissed by their doctor, something is clearly wrong."
Here's how it works: the full-service subscription cost for Awesome Woman is $99 per month, though there is also an entry level $5 option available for subscribers who want to access content and buy products and services on an individual basis.
For full-service subscribers, each receives a vaginal microbiome test in her first box, the results of will form the basis of how the company understands her individual health needs.
After that, the subscriber receives a monthly box with a variety of at-home diagnostic tests, including pH, UTI, hormones, and pregnancy, which are meant to provide health information to customize products, including personalized probiotics, vitamins and supplements, which are matched to her body’s needs and her chosen focus area. At launch, those focus areas include vaginal and urinary health, wellness and prevention, reproductive health, hormone balance, beauty, and sexual wellness.
In addition, Awesome Woman subscribers also get access to unlimited telehealth visits and prescription delivery.
The idea behind Awesome Woman is to build a loyal and engaged community of subscribers who sign up for a long term journey with FemTec Health, through all of their life stages, Angelides explained.
"It provides an opportunity for two-way communication with our base, so that we can not only deliver products and services, but learn from women about their health and wellness needs," he said.
Of course, there are other D2C platforms catered toward women, most notably Rory, which is part of Ro. What separates Awesome Woman, Angelides told me, is that it's the only platform that provides a complete continuum of care for women of all ages and at all stages of their life.
"This is a comprehensive, one destination where women know that they can go to one place and get all the care and products they need and to have access to a continuum of care as they may transition from one life stage to another," he said.
The other aspect of Awesome Woman that separates it from the competition is its technology platform, the BiomeAI, which combines the health data from subscribers with AI and machine learning that help understand those products and services that are precisely matched to each women so that they are personalized for women at every life stage.
"Listening to a woman’s body through the data we collect with her permission and using AI and machine learning to develop products and provide services to improve and in some situations predict, health outcomes."
A one stop shop for women's health
Awesome Woman is just the beginning for FemTech Health; the company is also working on building out its B2B business, particularly for large employers, health insurers and payors, which it plans to launch in June.
"Awesome Woman is the voice of our community, our ‘shop window’ and our direct connection to the consumer. Our B2B partners will offer another ‘way in’ to offering a valuable and needed healthcare service to woman on health insurance and medical plans," he said.
Eventually, the company, which has raised $38 million from investors that include Unilever Ventures, e.Ventures, Viking Global, Trinity Capital, and Longmont Capital, wants to become a single destination for women's health, bringing together a fragmented space.
"Just imagine when a woman goes to the doctor and then the many specialists that she may go to, they repeat the same tests over and over. Our single destination is designed to put an end to this so that everything is centralized, and costs can be controlled, but more importantly coordination of care is possible. In addition, I think that when a woman seeks fertility services and is ultimately successful, the current system necessitates that she find another provider, with no continuity of the care."
It's ambitions don't stop there: the long-term vision for the company is to bring on a complete revolution in women's healthcare and wellness.
"It’s time for the industry to transform into an end-to-end healthcare experience for every woman, to make it easy, to have easy access, at an affordable price at every stage of her life journey, based on her individual health needs. Woman are busy these days as caregivers, managing the family, why not provide something that meets their needs in this ever changing and challenging world. We believe in the marriage of science and technology facilitates this and helps us get to the point sooner and with much more precision."
(Image source: awesomewoman.com)
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