By 2018, it’s estimated that the number of active social media users will increase to 2.67 billion worldwide. In our tech-addicted world, no part of our lives are free from digital influence.
Case in point: two technology leaders are now trying to disrupt the reproductive health field.
Former Uber executive, Carly Leahy, and former 23AndMe executive, Afton Vechery, have launched a startup women’s health company called Modern Fertility. The company aims to simplify fertility testing for those wanting to have a baby by offering at-home tests for $149.
“We view this as a public health issue,” Vechery said to Forbes. “Every woman should have this information.”
According to Vechery, the doctors she consulted while conducting research told her that women often wait too long to freeze their eggs. Women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 24, and fertility begins to decline after the age of 30. By age 40 many women who want to conceive are unable to.
The idea for the startup came when Vechery received a $1,500 bill for a fertility test at a San Francisco clinic. Having launched three women’s health companies in the past, Vechery decided to act. She left her job in 2016 as a product manager at 23AndMe to head the new fertility company. Carly Leahy, the developer behind UberHEALTH, which delivers flu shots to those unable to transport themselves for vaccination, soon joined her.
Leahy hopes the company’s at-home testing and discreet packaging will encourage women to take a proactive approach to fertility and reproductive health.
“We get a Pap smear every year just because we’re supposed to,” said Leahy. “But something as personal as fertility is just, ‘wait and see.’ It should be something you check in on every year.”
Since its beginning in fall 2016, Modern Fertility has since raised $1 million to assist in building its medical team. Investors have included Box Group, Y Combinator, First Round Capital, and others.
Those who receive the fertility tests will use a finger-prick blood sample and then mail it back to Modern Fertility’s laboratory. A physician will then review the blood sample for 10 fertility hormones including:
- Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH)
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Estradiol (E2)
- Free thyroxine (FT4)
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Progesterone (P4)
- Prolactin (PRL)
- Free Testosterone (Free T)
- Total Testosterone (T)
These hormones, including the customer’s ovarian reserve (how many eggs they have), will be measured and mapped before being interpreted in the form of a fertility score. A person’s score lets the customer know how many years of fertility they have left available to them. Customers can also compare their ovulation results and ovarian reserve to others their age.
The fertility tests are available for pre-order purchase on the company’s website. The tests are to be shipped out later in the year.
Photo: Modern Fertility