In these modern times, women who already juggle busy professional and personal lives – not to mention most caregiving responsibilities – often forget to take care of their own health.
Emme, which was co-founded by Ferolyn Fellow graduate Amanda French, is taking one thing off their plate — the need to track daily birth control — through the Emme Smart Case, a simple and intuitive birth control pill case.
The Emme Smart Case senses when each pill is taken and automatically logs the data on the Emme app, thereby creating an accurate record of a woman’s pill history. In addition to keeping her on schedule, it provides reminders and offers reproductive health guidance, including leading her through what to do if a dose is missed.
And the wait will soon be over for the 10,000+ women on the wait list, as Emme’s launch is just around the corner.
A welcome introduction
Since graduating from the Ferolyn Fellowship last year, Amanda has led the company through a rebranding and change of name (formerly Cadence) to better reflect its mission to help women manage their reproductive health, and ran a successful, sold-out, national beta.
“The demand for our product was really strong, underscoring the vast need for a solution like this” said Amanda. They invited 70 out of the 1,000 women from around the country who signed up to be part of the beta testing to use the Emme Smart Case for six months. “We were able to demonstrate that Emme helps women achieve an 80% reduction in missed pills, and that it delivered improved confidence and peace of mind.”
Following the successful beta, Emme expanded the team and ramped up production to prepare for the commercial launch. While COVID-19 had some impact on its hardware development, the team was able to stay on track by finding creative ways to launch a product while working remotely. Notably, they built their own test fixtures using accessible items to run extensive reliability testing at home, ensuring that they continued to meet the product’s high-quality standards.
Emme also added expertise to its board with seasoned entrepreneur Deborah Kilpatrick, Ph.D., CEO of Evidation Health and Ferolyn Fellowship advisory board member.
Responding to women’s needs
In addition to the tremendous feedback from the beta testing, Emme has also received valuable input from its app and periodic user surveys. “We found a lot of our customers would be interested in getting a full health snapshot within our app, so we have expanded its functionality to track a wide range of symptoms,” said Amanda. “We can now connect the dots regarding how your pill habits make you feel, which helps women have a better experience every month.” The iOS app is now available to download on the App Store.
The company will also leverage its popular blog, which shares trusted information on a variety of women’s health issues. “This is just the beginning of building a much bigger community that we are very excited to help shape and support by leading the conversation on important, overlooked topics in women’s health,” said Amanda.
Benefiting from two programs
Amanda credits the Stanford Biodesign program as invaluable in helping her and her co-founder, Janene Fuerch, hone in on an unmet need, while the Ferolyn Fellowship has helped them further develop the company under Deb, Surbhi Sarna and Angela Macfarlane’s guidance. Subhi and Angela are Ferolyn Fellowship advisory board members and Angela is also a Fogarty Institute board member.
The results have been gratifying as the waiting list continues to grow faster than they could have imagined, Amanda says. “We frequently receive messages from women thanking us for offering an easy solution to what used to be a major source of stress. It’s tremendously rewarding that we found a solution to what is clearly an extensive issue, and are very thankful to Stanford Biodesign and our mentors at the Ferolyn Fellowship for offering so many helpful tools and connections to support our journey in bringing Emme closer to market.”
About the Fogarty Institute’s Ferolyn Fellowship Program
The Ferolyn Fellowship supports rising medtech leaders with a strong passion and aptitude to transform healthcare, as a way to help ensure that the legacy and spirit of Ferolyn Powell lives on. Ferolyn was committed to diversity and inclusion in the industry, as one of a handful of female CEOs and a dedicated mentor to young entrepreneurs through both the Fogarty Institute and Stanford Biodesign Program. Ferolyn Fellows undergo an immersive 10-month program of customized mentoring designed to accelerate their careers and nurture leaders who will drive the next wave of medtech innovation.