Every day in the US about 6,000 women reaching menopause. More than 75% of these women experience unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, which usually last between seven and nine years.
Often, women feel there is no cure for the physical and emotional changes they experience during this stage of their lives, so they choose to get through it in silence, according to Ann Garnier, CEO of Lisa Health. To address this problem, she co-founded the Oakland-based company with Chief Scientific Officer Massimiliano de Zambotti. Recently they cooperated with Mayo Clinic to launch Lunchapp to help women navigate their menopause journey.
Lisa Health was spun off from a veteran technology nonprofit SRI International in 2020 to create technology solutions for women going through menopause. The startup got its name because about 50 years ago, Lisa was at or near the top of the list of most popular baby girl names for about a decade.
“Every woman knows Lisa, whether it’s her sister, aunt, cousin or friend,” Garnier said. “The name feels very warm and friendly – as if Lisa is your trusted guide through this stage of life.”
Noon is named after the time of day when the sun is at its brightest. Garnier said her team chose the name because they wanted women to feel the warmth of their midlife stage and “all the possibilities and promises that come with it.”
In developing Midday, Lisa Health signed a healthcare license agreement with Mayo Clinic. Through the partnership, the startup gets access to Mayo Clinic’s experts in menopause care, who help develop the app and continue to ensure it uses approaches supported by science and evidence.
The app provides personalized insights that help users understand what’s happening physically and emotionally during menopause, provides recommendations for healthy aging and symptom management, and allows users to request a virtual appointment with a Mayo Clinic clinician.
Using algorithms, Midday pinpoints where a woman is in her menopausal journey and tracks her progression through each stage so she can better prepare for the symptoms that may come next. The app also provides guidance on which holistic interventions would be best for treating users’ symptoms, whether they’re struggling with hot flashes, low libido, vaginal dryness or sleep problems.
For women interested in using hormone therapy to treat their menopausal symptoms, Midday refers them to Mayo Clinic clinicians who can teach them more about their eligibility for this treatment. The Midday team is also working on a premium version of its app, which Garnier said will include new technology to detect hot flashes and other menopause biomarkers.
In addition to the launch of its app, Lisa Health also recently announced the close of its $2.5 million oversubscribed seed round. The round was led by Radical Ventures and included participation from SRI International and Broadway Angels. Mayo Clinic is also an investor in the company.
Although it has raised capital and partnered with one of the country’s most prestigious health systems, Lisa Health isn’t the only digital health startup focused on menopause. Contestants include Evernow, Vira Health and Alloy. For Garnier, her startup stands out for its AI-based approach and “using advanced technology to really understand what’s going on physiologically and emotionally with women, and the ability to provide precision therapy.”
Currently available in the app store, Midday offers users a 30-day free trial. Users can then choose a quarterly subscription for $29.99 or an annual subscription for $79.99.
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