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🌱 Seed Spotlight #3 - Pollie

Issue #53 — View online — Suggest a link

The latest news and information about innovations in healthcare!

I am excited to present the third edition of Seed Spotlight! This edition features a conversation with an early-stage startup founder building in the healthcare space. I will dive into the company’s business model, the problem they are solving, and learnings from the founder.
Today’s edition features Pollie - a company building digital solutions for women with complex chronic conditions, starting with PCOS.

Company: Pollie, founded by Jane Sagui and Sabrina Mason.
Problem: 10% of women struggle with PCOS, which is the #1 cause of female infertility in the US.
Solution: Pollie helps women manage their PCOS symptoms through personalized, digital care. Each care plan is curated based on the patient’s lab results, goals, symptoms, and life stage.
I was introduced to the cofounder of Pollie, Jane Sagui, by last month’s Seed Spotlight founder, Manan! Healthcare is a small world.
I knew absolutely nothing about PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) before talking with Jane. So, for those who also don’t know much about the topic, here is the TL;DR from Mayo Clinic:
PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
This hormone imbalance can cause many issues including infertility, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression/anxiety, acne, and hair loss. PCOS is often exacerbated by obesity.
The good news… women with PCOS can manage their symptoms, and in some cases, fall off the “PCOS spectrum.” Enter Pollie.
I admire healthcare founders who are patients first - it’s what drew me to Headway. From the start, Jane was very open with me about her struggles with PCOS. In her late teens, Jane struggled with acne, insomnia, anxiety, and many other common symptoms. After many visits to various doctors, she was diagnosed with PCOS. A diagnosis is a rarity when dealing with PCOS - 50% of cases go undiagnosed.
Over the course of the next few years and through college, Jane learned to deal with her symptoms. She found the best treatment was a holistic approach, focusing on hormonal health and wellness.
Fast forward to early 2020, when Jane and her college friend, Sabrina Mason, decided to launch Pollie. Jane has a background in healthcare management consulting and venture capital, and Sabrina has a background in public health and operating roles at health tech companies.
There are so many different ways to keep PCOS symptoms at bay, Jane shared with me - it’s just different for everyone. Taking a bird’s eye view, a care plan typically consists of targeted lifestyle tweaks, wellness coaching, and symptom tracking - nothing revolutionary, but such changes take work and structure, and it is confusing for patients to learn what really works for them without the proper support.
The model
Pollie’s model is simple and easy to understand. Their care team interprets the patient’s test results, and uses that information to devise a custom solution. Here is the patient journey from Pollie’s website:
1. Join the program and meet your dedicated care team - Share your symptoms, preferences, goals, and life stage so that our team can provide the most personalized experience for you. Meet your care coordinator, functional nutritionist and certified health coach who will be supporting you on your PCOS journey.
2. Get new labs through Pollie or share recent results - Head to a lab facility near you if you opt into one of Pollie’s lab packages; otherwise, we can work with you and your doctor if you prefer to use previously-drawn markers.
3. Complete your first nutritionist consult and get your PCOS plan - Discuss your lab results with our functional nutritionist for a greater understanding of what is triggering your symptoms and get your personalized PCOS Plan with diet, lifestyle, and supplement guidance.
4. Be on your way to sustainable PCOS management - Unlimited chat support from your health coach and care coordinator to help guide you through your PCOS Plan and and curated articles to help you master your understanding of PCOS based on your life stage, symptoms, and goals.
Pollie, which is going to have an accompanying mobile app, will launch mid-2022. You can sign up for the waitlist here!
Jane and Sabrina have their sights set on more than just PCOS care. There are several “complex chronic conditions” that affect women - Jane and Sabrina want to tackle them all. If Pollie can accomplish what Virta has accomplished for diabetes reversal, their limits are sky high. I am so excited to watch the whole-person care trend continue!
How to connect with Pollie
You can learn more about Pollie here. They also have great social media game on Instagram.
Get in touch!
My name is Dan Cimaglia - I am the curator of Techstars Health Digest. If you know of any companies that should be featured in a future edition of Seed Spotlight, let me know!
If you enjoyed learning about Pollie, please forward this newsletter to a few friends! It would mean a lot to me to share these stories with a wider audience.
You can also follow me on Twitter @dan_cimaglia, where I post similar content about healthcare, start-ups, and tech!
Techstars Startup Digest Health is curated by:
Dan Cimaglia Dan Cimaglia
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