Allara: Improving The Lives Of Those With Chronic Conditions

By Amit Chowdhry • Jan 9, 2024

Allara is a company that built the first collaborative care platform for women with chronic health conditions. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Allara founder and CEO Rachel Blank to learn more about the company. 

Rachel Blank’s Background

What is Rachel Blank’s background? Blank said:

“Conversations about healthcare and patient support began at an early age in my household. My dad is a gynecologist, and I watched him call patients well into the night, always ensuring they had around-the-clock, comprehensive, and empathetic care.”

“My own health journey was different. After years of unexplained medical issues, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21. I sought support from various doctors and specialists, did my own research, and played whack-a-mole with lifestyle changes, but wasn’t able to find effective and holistic care for my condition. While an estimated 8-13% of reproductive-age women struggle with PCOS (WHO), there is no FDA-approved treatment for this widespread, chronic condition. The current solutions for PCOS and many women’s health issues are that of trial-and-error.”

“After my own health journey, I entered the consumer health space to create better experiences for patients. Post graduating business school, I was the Director of Strategy at Ro, and saw first hand how much we can make an impact in healthcare when we put the power directly in patients’ hands. In 2020, I founded Allara to address the gap in women’s healthcare that I experienced firsthand while navigating my own diagnosis and treatment. Since launch, we’ve expanded from specialized PCOS care to comprehensive services for women across hormonal, metabolic, and gynecologic conditions.”

Formation Of Allara

How did the idea for Allara come together? Blank shared:

“The idea for this company came from my own journey with PCOS. Considering that 1 in 10 women has PCOS, I was surprised by the lack of resources available. After navigating my diagnosis, I realized there was a gap in the market to support chronic health conditions for women.”

“During quarantine, I observed that telehealth became very important for accessibility. It was a learning moment when I realized that more could be done virtually and I could reframe more complex healthcare concerns through the lens of telehealth.”

“I started Allara Health in September 2020 as a direct-to-consumer platform to provide community as well as treatment. It was vital to understand the need inside and out, so we invested time interviewing PCOS patients and thoroughly researching the condition and issues faced in order to formulate and deliver the best possible platform.”

Favorite Memory

What has been your favorite memory working for the company so far? Blank reflected:

“It’s probably an experience over drinks with my team – I am so thankful to my small but mighty team for all they have done to build a better solution in women’s health. On a day to day basis, the most meaningful part of my job is the emails and messages I get from patients, telling me how much Allara has helped them on their healthcare journey.”

Core Products

What are the company’s core products and features? Blank explained:

“Allara is a first-of-its-kind virtual care platform bridging the care divide for the millions of women of reproductive age dealing with chronic hormonal conditions. Our virtual, multidisciplinary care approach combines lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and medical expertise to individualize patient plans across hormonal, metabolic, and gynecological conditions. Patients are able to interact with their care team via video visits, as well as through our proprietary app.”

Challenges Faced 

What challenges has Blank faced in building the company? Blank acknowledged:

“In healthcare, working within regulations adds a layer of complexity. One challenge is expanding insurance coverage; currently all major insurance carriers in 8 states support Allara. With our new Series A funding, we plan to expand insurance coverage through all major carriers to all 50 states by 2024.”

Evolution Of Allara’s Technology

How has the company’s technology evolved since launching? Blank noted:

“We are constantly launching new features to improve the experience for both our patients, as well as our provider team. We were very proud to launch our first app this year, allowing patients to engage with their providers as well as standalone content 24/7.”

Significant Milestones

What have been some of the company’s most significant milestones? Blank cited:

“Our newest milestone is our $10 million dollar Series A funding round, led by Google Ventures with participation from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Humbition, Vanterra, Gaingels and angel investors like One Medical founder Tom Lee and Maggie Sellers. In addition, Google Ventures general partner Frédérique Dame has joined Allara’s board of directors which is a very exciting addition to the team. The new money brings our total capital raised to $17.5 million.”

Total Addressable Market

What total addressable market (TAM) size is the company pursuing? Blank assessed:

“Over 1 in 3 women live with a chronic condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, and women of reproductive age (18 – 44) represent 56 million people in the U.S. population. Eventually, there is potential to expand globally, opening the market to over 600 million affected women worldwide.”

Differentiation From The Competition

What differentiates the company from its competition? Blank affirmed:

“While many women’s health startups focus on reproductive health issues, such as fertility, Allara provides support for non-reproductive chronic health conditions affecting women. These include PCOS and endometriosis as well as uterine fibroids, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease and more. Allara pairs patients with physicians and a registered dietician who can manage all of the different care aspects. When dealing with chronic conditions, many vital pieces might be overlooked alongside medication, such as emotional support, supplements, and diet. Allara pays attention to all these factors in order to guide our users through a long-term and sustainable treatment plan.”

Future Company Goals 

What are some of the company’s future company goals? Blank concluded:

“We plan to use the new funding to expand our insurance-covered care to all 50 states by 2024. We also plan to build relationships with fertility practices who are interested in providing better care for patients who are visiting the clinic in between procedures.”