Studies show that Millennials perceive the current healthcare system as hard to access, outdated and highly inconvenient. They seek personalized solutions and expect healthcare to be holistic, taking into consideration their physical and mental health as a system.
Additionally, extensive research has shown that women’s health concerns, particularly the ones related to feminine health or related to prevention, are discredited or not properly addressed in the healthcare system. Women’s health is fragmented, and if you’ve ever had a health concern related to your nutrition, digestion, mental health, intimate and sexual health, postpartum recovery or fertility, there’s a big chance you’ve had to navigate complex waters to find solutions that are a good fit.
These are the 4 female-founded startups redefining the future of healthcare with a combination of high touch brick and mortar experiences, state of the art technology and sophisticated digital health support.
Tia Clinic, Empathy Meets Innovation To Help Women Thrive
Carolyn Witte, Cofounder and CEO of Ask Tia
The Tia platform addresses both patient wants and provider needs, and uses tech and design to build a personalized, soulful relationship-driven care model that helps women make informed decisions about their health.
Carolyn Witte, Co-founder and CEO, explains: “I decided to start Tia after my own experience struggling to navigate the healthcare system while going through a three year long PCOS diagnosis process in my 20s. After launching our Tia women’s health app, I quickly learned that my experience was not an exception.”
Tia is an integrated digital and physical platform and community changing the way women interact with the healthcare system. Tia gathers gynecology, primary care and wellness into one cohesive experience. Since its opening last March, their brick and mortar center in NYC’s Flatiron district has welcomed over 1,000 members - and thousands are on the wait list. The team is currently preparing to scale in NYC and nationwide.
Witte has a clear vision of the future of healthcare for women: “A world in which every woman has access to affordable, best-in-class, integrative healthcare that doesn’t break her body into different “boxes,” and gives her true choice to make informed decisions. A system that deeply understands the intricacies of women, not as “small men”, but as distinct patients who deserve their own approach to research, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.”
Yinova Center, The Pleasure Of Taking Care of Women
Jill Blakeway, CEO and Founder of Yinova Center
Jill Blakeway opened her first acupuncture clinic in 1999 and started treating patients with various ailments. She applies her principles to all of the treatments offered at the pastel-colored, relaxing space: Listening to the patient, giving them courses of treatment that can be fitted into their lifestyle - something millennial women really value!-, and looking at the patient holistically.
“Especially when it comes to treating women, our systems are so interrelated and complex that you can’t just isolate one problem. Whether you are suffering fertility challenges, digestive problems, or headaches, different symptoms are interrelated and imbalances can manifest in ways that are harder to understand if we only look at the body from the perspective of Western Medicine,” says Blakeway. She emphasizes the need for medicine to focus on going to the root cause of health challenges, as opposed to just putting bandaids on things.
Blakeway is a believer in the importance of taking care of the caregiver, and particularly in these challenging times of heavy political conversations that directly impact women’s rights, she aims to create an eden, a safe space for them to work on their health.
Yinova raised $2.5 million last fall for their expansion. The Flatiron center, which sees several hundred patients a week, recently expanded to Brooklyn Heights and has now opened Yinova East Side on 58th Street. Blakeway understands that each center is serving different audiences: Flatiron is populated by busy business women, while Brooklyn Heights has an offering for the entire family, including yoga for kids and child-care. The new center's proximity to fertility centers, OB/GYN offices, and other medical specialists will allow practitioners and patients to work in close collaboration with the nearby medical community.
The Well, Wellness Is The New Socializing
THE WELL Cofounder and CEO, Rebecca Parekh.
THE WELL is a modern, membership-based wellness club designed for busy urban professionals in the heart of New York City. The team recognizes the value of both Western medicine and the wisdom of Eastern healing and have built a science-backed ecosystem for wellness. Their integrative medicine doctors and best-in-class health practitioners work together to build customized plans for each member and to remove the noise when it comes to what’s best for each person.
Rebecca Parekh, Cofounder and CEO, shares the importance of a welcoming environment that allows for people to socialize while taking care of their health: “We are busier than ever and many of us are sleep-deprived, anxious and overwhelmed. We care about our health and want to prioritize it, but with an ever-increasing deluge of information it can feel daunting and confusing. We designed THE WELL to feel light and bright, and we created social spaces so members can enjoy connecting with a community of like-minded individuals. It's about ‘wellness and…’ not ‘wellness or…’ We need to make taking care of ourselves feel easy.”
Regarding women’s struggle to resolve health issues that are difficult to diagnose or not properly addressed in the traditional system, Parekh added: “Through an in-depth intake process, our practitioners listen to our members’ concerns and goals, assessing everything from quality of sleep and emotional well-being to diet and exercise routines. By taking the time to be both thoughtful and methodical, our team can identify underlying issues and develop a personalized wellness plan for each member.”
THE WELL has raised a total of $18 million including a $14mm Series A led by NEA. The Well is opening early this fall The 18,000-square-foot club includes a spa with steam and sauna, an organic restaurant, reflexology lounge, yoga and meditation studios, private training gym and classroom with innovative weekly programming.
Parsley Health, The Power Of Functional Medicine
Dr. Robin Berzin, CEO of Parsley Health
Parsley Health is a high-tech modern medical practice that combines cutting-edge diagnostic testing with the latest in nutrition and lifestyle interventions. Currently, it has centers located in NYC, LA and SF. Parsley uses an outcomes-driven approach, and pairs doctors and patients for the long-haul, monitoring and supporting patient health longitudinally.
By focusing on the root cause of disease, Parsley has helped patients reverse and cure conditions, improving health and well-being while reducing lifetime health care costs.
Primary focus areas are chronic health issues, such as autoimmune conditions, gut health, fertility, cardio-metabolic disorders and mental health, among others. “60% of American adults have at least one chronic disease that is lifestyle-driven and modifiable, if not reversible. Chronic disease drives approximately 90% of annual healthcare costs in the US,” says Dr. Robin Berzin, Founder and CEO, and adds “We need a new model of care.”
Dr. Berzin knows the challenges women face, specifically when facing fertility related struggles. For that reason, Parsley pays special attention at all potentially contributing factors and conducts tests for nutrient deficiencies, toxins, genetic variants that have implications for pregnancy (like MTHFR), and hormone levels, including Cortisol, DHEA and Insulin. Based on the result, dietary changes and vitamin regimens will be designed to support hormone rebalancing, positively impacting sleep and menstrual cycle.
“Our preliminary data shows we're able to support natural conception in a significant number of women by using both lifestyle changes and data-driven testing to determine the best course of action,” says Dr. Berzin.
The $150 a month Parsley membership includes coaching support and unlimited health messaging, a doctor guided health plan and regimen, several doctors visits, community events, and other wellness perks. "By combining the best of conventional medicine with data and a modern holistic approach we can ensure patients are both heard and healed," concludes Dr Berzin.
The new generation of patient-centered, holistic clinics are ready to take on a slow moving industry by meeting Millennial consumer demands: Empathy, experience and personalization.
Estrella Jaramillo Contributor
Women's Health Advocate and Entrepreneur.