Q&A: How a femtech startup came across an unmet healthtech market

Web content editor Ian Bolland spoke to Lina Chan, founder and CEO of femtech startup Adia Health. She talks about how Adia came about following her experience with pregnancy loss and conception, as well as her thoughts on the femtech market place.

Give us a bit of background on Adia? What made you start it?

Adia was born from my own experience struggling with pregnancy loss and conception. During my 20s and early 30’s I did everything I could not to get pregnant. I thought when time came, it would be an easy journey. When I finally decided to start trying for a family I experienced a still birth, miscarriage, struggle conceiving and finally when I had my first daughter, I went into pre-term labour at 32 weeks.

My experience made me realise just how difficult this journey is for so many women because it is reactive, confusing, and isolating. Why do women have to try for more than a year before qualifying for basic fertility test? Why do women have to miscarry three times before seeing a specialist? Why do women so often rely on Dr. Google for one of the most important decisions in their lives? And why is it that mental health is often completely ignored?

I started Adia to change all this and help women be proactive about their reproductive health, easily access the specialist support they need and health programmes to improve their reproductive health.

What makes Adia different from other fertility monitoring products and devices?

Adia is not a fertility or cycle tracking company. Adia is a digital platform empowering women to be proactive about their reproductive health. We provide women with an at-home fertility blood test, preconception plan and access to expert support.

Our product has three main benefits: 1) convenient and affordable access to proactive tests and fertility specialists so that health issues can be identified early 2) trusted educational information and health improvement programmes, and 3) integrated support for physical and emotional health on-demand to help women achieve the best health outcomes possible.

Can you tell us a bit about the technology behind Adia?

Adia is a mobile-responsive web application with integrated ecommerce for ordering blood tests, messaging for accessing on-demand support, and educational content to improve knowledge. When a woman joins Adia she shares a bit of information about her background which our back-end technology uses to tailor her experience on the platform. We take data security seriously so have designed our databases and technology infrastructure to ensure protection and compliance with stringent health care data standards.

What do you make of the femtech market place? How much potential is there?

The femtech market is large and growing fast. Currently it is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2025.

Women’s needs are changing and we are demanding solutions that are better designed to women’s challenges and experiences. This is a widespread movement and we are seeing a number of new companies successfully forming and raising a significant amount of capital in this space. Just recently Elvie, a femtech company, raised $42 million, the largest Series B round for a femtech business ever.

I am confident that more femtech businesses will launch and there will be tremendous potential.  This is just the beginning and soon we will be seeing unicorn companies in femtech.

Is this the kind of thing that is used/could be used easily in the healthcare environment? Both at home and in a clinical setting?

Most definitely! Adia is currently working on a pilot with UCL and Imperial College London funded by the Wellcome Trust. We are helping healthcare institutions engage people better outside of the clinic by using Adia to adopt lifestyle changes that improve their physical and emotional wellbeing.  Our platform can also be used to deliver blood tests at a significant discount to clinics and users are already able to message with doctors – saving time and money for both women and their doctors. As our product is tech based, it is accessible on mobile and from anywhere at any time enabling healthcare providers to better help people amidst their busy lives.

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