- MedAnswers — a company that helps provides resources to those who are struggling with fertility — announced it raised $5 million in seed funding led by Life Sciences Fund
After MedAnswers CEO Alice Crisci was diagnosed with breast cancer and survived with chemotherapy, the treatments left her infertile. Fortunately, she was able to have a child using IVF and this experience made her want to help the more than 80 million people around the world who are struggling to conceive. So she built a company that offers resources around fertility called MedAnswers.
And MedAnswers announced it raised $5 million in seed funding led by Life Sciences Fund — which is run by Special Situations Funds portfolio manager and Columbia University instructor David Sable. And Viking Capital also provided follow on funding.
Along with the funding news, the company is also launching new tools on the FertilityAnswers app such as fertility services matching resource and the first social media feed to provide access to clinically and scientifically validated fertility information. These free resources aim to shorten the time to conception by aligning users with personalized, precise, and family-building resources at the right time. The funds will also be used to expand the team, bolster the company’s intellectual property position, increase the user base, grow the app’s available board-certified experts from 200 to 1,000, and launch multi-lingual support.
The experts include board-certified OBGYNs, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, psychologists, attorney’s, acupuncturists, nutritionists, urologists, fertility navigators, egg and sperm donor agencies as well as surrogacy agencies.
“Our users have been struggling to conceive for an average of 2.5 years and they are mostly in their 20’s. Sadly, the health data they share and the questions they ask seem as though they are at the beginning of their journey. The faster we match them to the right products, services, clinicians and fertility solutions, the faster they can achieve their dream of having a family,” said Crisci.
With a curated social media feed, FertilityAnswers protects users’ anonymity and enables them to interact with board-certified experts. This provides a much safer alternative to the most popular social media tools that are being used. With this tool, users can ask any question they want anonymously in exchange for filling out a short health profile. Crisci explained that the “quality of the questions is much higher when users provide us with a bit of health data. And it ensures our experts can answer with accuracy and personalization. There is a big difference between a 25-year-old struggling to conceive and a 39-year-old.”
The experts can upvote each other’s content to increase the validation of the content. As for the social media feed, only experts are allowed to post articles, videos, and images. However, anonymous users can like, comment and share the content they find useful.
“All too often patients come to me with misinformation about fertility they’ve found online or gotten from friends and family via social media and other channels,” added Dr. Serena H. Chen MD — a Director of Reproductive Medicine at IRMS at Saint Barnabas and an expert on the FertilityAnswers platform. “Traditional social media channels and other online resources are often unreliable, yet plentiful. FertilityAnswers offers one trusted resource for real experts who provide accurate and truthful information across the fertility spectrum. This is an important and much-needed resource for anyone who is struggling to conceive.”
With the new matching resource, FertilityAnswers also provides access to some of the best IVF clinics in the US, reduced fee IVF programs abroad, scientifically-validated ovulation trackers, clinically-validated emotional support programs, clinical weight management programs, and even clinical trials. The platform is HIPAA and HITECH compliant, user data is encrypted to protect data and keep users anonymous with the intent of being the most trusted, and it offers a safe environment for its users.
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