Each day in the U.S., about 6,000 women reach menopause. More than 75% of these women experience uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, which usually last between seven and nine years.
Oftentimes, women feel like there are no treatments for the physical and emotional changes they experience during this life stage, so they opt to silently tough it out, 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 collaborated with Mayo Clinic to launch Midday, an app to support women navigate their menopausal journey.
Lisa Health was spun out of 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 a Lisa, whether it’s their sister, aunt, cousin or friend,” Garnier said. “The name feels very warm and friendly — like Lisa is your trusted guide through this life stage.”
Midday 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, as well as “all of the opportunity and promise that comes with it.”
When developing Midday, Lisa Health signed a health license agreement with Mayo Clinic. Through the partnership, the startup receives access to Mayo Clinic’s experts in menopausal care, who help developed the app and continue to ensure it uses science and evidence-backed approaches.
The app delivers personalized insights that help users understand what is happening physically and emotionally during menopause, provides recommendations for healthy aging and symptom treatment, and allows users to request a virtual care appointment with a Mayo Clinic clinician.
Using algorithms, Midday locates where a woman is in her menopause journey and tracks her progression through each stage so she can better prepare for symptoms that may be coming next. The app also provides guidance about which holistic interventions would be best to treat users’ symptoms, whether they are struggling with hot flashes, low libido, vaginal dryness or sleep trouble.
For women who are interested in using hormone therapy to treat their menopause symptoms, Midday directs 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 novel technology for hot flash detection and other biomarkers of menopause.
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.
Though it has garnered capital and struck a partnership with one of the country’s most prestigious health systems, Lisa Health is not the only digital health startup focused on menopause. Competitors include Evernow, Vira Health and Alloy. To Garnier, her startup differentiates itself by having an artificial intelligence-based approach and “using advanced technology to really understand what’s happening physiologically and emotionally with women, as well as then being able to deliver precision therapeutics.”
Currently available on the app store, Midday offers users a 30-day free trial. After that, users can choose a quarterly subscription for $29.99 or an annual subscription for $79.99.
Photo: yongyuan, Getty Images