Alumna- established Aavia utilizes education, neighborhood, and innovation to alter the method individuals consider hormonal agents.
Half the population deals with month-to-month ovarian hormonal agent cycles. Those cycles effect menstrual patterns, fertility, and a lot more, however preconceptions around hormonal agent issues have actually restricted awareness about hormonal agent health.
Now, Aavia is working to assist individuals comprehend their hormonal agent cycle and its effects.
“These cycles impact quality of sleep, quality of muscle toning, energy, sex drive, skin health, mental health, energy levels — you name it — but nobody is talking about this,” CEO Aagya Mathur MBA ’18 states. “We see a world where people can use their hormone cycles to benefit them day to day — to make them a superpower rather than something they are dreading or feel is a burden.”
The start-up, which was developed throughout the MIT Entrepreneurship and Maker Skills Integrator (MEMSI), attains that through a mix of education, neighborhood, and innovation.
Aavia’s flagship item is a trademarked clever tablet case that can notice when users take contraceptive pill, and advise them through a mobile app if they forget. In addition to sending out these alerts, the app and its accompanying site enable users to track modifications they observe throughout their cycle, get individualized suggestions, gain from peers and medical specialists, and engage with a neighborhood handling comparable issues.
“[Raising awareness about hormonal health] isn’t something that can take place overnight, so we chose to begin by attending to an issue that individuals currently comprehend they have, which is keeping in mind to take their contraceptive pill,” Mathur states. “From there, we’ve broadened our services based on what we’ve learned is working and not working for our users.”
Mathur, together with Aavia co-founders Alexis Wong and Aya Suzuki ’18, state they’re driven by the stories they speak with individuals who have actually utilized Aavia’s services to attend to issues with things like stress and anxiety and acne that they have actually fought with for many years without understanding they were associated with hormonal agents.
“[We’re] assisting individuals have a much better health journey than their moms,” Mathur states. “Hopefully my future daughter will have a way better health journey than I’ve had. Nobody is paying attention to this problem, but half the population has ovaries, so it’s something that is extremely underserved.”
An concept is hatched
Wong and Suzuki satisfied at MEMSI, an extensive two-week bootcamp that challenges trainee individuals from MIT and Hong Kong to develop a hardware start-up. Suzuki had actually operated in a rehab center and saw the issues individuals had with treatment adherence. They started establishing a tablet pack that might notice when tablets were still in their tinfoil product packaging and send out pointers to users through mobile phones. They were later on presented to Mathur through a shared good friend who had actually likewise taken part in MEMSI.
The creators talked to numerous individuals with a range of illness to identify where they might make the greatest distinction. The 3 produced a varied starting group: Mathur had actually studied neuroscience as an undergrad and believed she was going to be a physician up until she entered into consulting and chose an MBA at MIT was a much better course. Wong was studying electrical engineering at Hong Kong University, and Suzuki was an undergrad at MIT studying mechanical engineering and style.
Mathur, who started awakening in the middle of the night documenting concepts and concerns about business, was enjoyed remain in an interdisciplinary environment throughout her MBA program.
“Sloan was one of the only schools that says ‘One MIT’ rather than, ‘We’re the business school and we have everything we need,’” Mathur states. “I thought that was really great because then you could be in clubs with people from other areas. Multidisciplinary teams are extremely important to have the kind of impact we seek to have.”
The creators state it was handy to be trainees as they started constructing the business. They got assistance from MIT Sandbox, the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, and went through the start-up accelerators MIT delta v and MIT fuse. They likewise won the audience option award throughout the MIT $100 K Entrepreneurship Competition.
“Starting a company at MIT is amazing because you have so many resources, both financial and educational,” Mathur states.
Today the creators continue to get worth from MIT’s network, conference with previous schoolmates and alumni– Mathur even describes the class notes she took as an MBA trainee from time to time.
A brand-new technique to hormonal agent health
After surveying countless individuals, the creators found out individuals desired an app that surpassed tracking durations or state of minds to in fact offer users health and behavioral pointers.
“We’re helping you understand your hormone cycle through your own reporting, but the big thing is we also give you actionable insights,” Mathur states. “For example, these are the three days where you have the highest energy and here’s how you can take advantage of it, or these are the four days when you have the most anxiety, here’s what you can do to help reduce it. Or, it’s coming up so here are steps you can take to make sure it’s not as bad as it has been in the past.”
Aavia, which has a boards of advisers of MDs, commits a great deal of resources to academic efforts, making article and videos, hosting occasions, holding online forums in the app with medical professionals 4 days a week, and engaging on social networks. In neighborhood online forums, users can ask concerns, share stories or worries, and provide assistance. Aavia has actually likewise been organizing members with comparable experiences together, like those who are taking the exact same acne medication or handling comparable health journeys.
“The more people that we can get in front of, the more they can tell other people and help each other out,” Mathur states.
The outcomes have actually been appealing. One of Aavia’s members was being treated with depression when she started tracking her state of mind on the app. The user brought that information to her medical professional, who understood the depressive signs were a lot more serious throughout particular period. The information assisted the medical professional alter her medical diagnosis to premenstrual dysphoric condition, which is dealt with in a different way than depression.
“The stories that we hear are really what get me out of bed in the morning,” Mathur states. “To see we changed this person’s outlook on something, we helped this person understand that they actually needed a different treatment, or knowing this person feels this change in confidence or stress. Those are actually two of our biggest success metrics: decreasing stress and increasing confidence. That’s where we’re seeing significant changes.”
Most of Aavia’s members are 18 to 24 years of ages, a market Mathur states is a lot more available to speaking about hormonal agent issues. For the creators, everything returns to Aavia’s objective of setting a brand-new paradigm for hormonal agent health.
“We hear most consistently from people who feel like they’re neglected or who are dealing with a problem that nobody else is paying attention to,” Mathur states. “Our members tell us they don’t necessarily trust the big health care companies, but they trust us. We’re focused on what we can do to have a lasting impact as users go through their hormone health journey.”