"Reframing fertility health" at Frame Fertility
What is Frame Fertility?
Frame Fertility is reframing health by starting the conversation with something people care about - fertility. Frame engages employees proactively to address risk factors and avoid a time-constrained crisis. Developed in partnership with clinical experts, Frame’s platform provides a fertility score / assessment, coaching and navigation to improve health and reduce costs.
Current industry landscape
88% of employees said they would switch jobs to access fertility benefits, however, today’s solutions are focused on treatment rather than prevention. Unfortunately, fertility treatments, such as egg freezing and IVF, are incredibly demanding - physically, mentally and financially - leaving many employers conflicted on how best to support their employees. Thus, 82% of benefit leaders are on the hunt to enhance their fertility benefits and are seeking ways to best support their employees holistically, especially given the backdrop of COVID and growing burnout amongst employees.
In parallel, funding is beginning to increase to support women+ / femtech, including those focused on fertility, with a record-breaking $388M going towards companies in this space. That said, this still represents a mere 4.7% of funding in 2018 despite 80% of healthcare decisions being made by women.
Within the fertility benefits space, there are multiple competitors (e.g., Maven Clinic, Kindbody, Carrot Fertility), however, the bulk of these solutions are focused on once someone is trying to conceive and/or is pregnant or they are monetizing off of treatment vs. prevention.
How the company was established
The company is borne out of the personal experience of its founders, Jessica and Corey, combined with their professional journeys building products in digital health. More specifically, Jessica and Corey actively tried to plan ahead, but to their surprise, they were turned away and told not to worry. Then, when they did try to conceive in their mid-30s, they not only struggled but also uncovered a variety of underlying conditions that were plaguing their overall health. They were lucky to conceive their daughter after spending thousands of dollars on treatment (and a lot of mental, emotional and physical angst), but they were struck by why this ended up happening. Even more so, once they were pregnant no one seemed to care about the underlying issues that had gotten them to this point.
Recognizing that many others were doomed for this same fate, especially as individuals wait longer to conceive, and more importantly, the system is set up to further these challenges not prevent them, they launched Frame Fertility. Frame helps individuals plan ahead and know their risk factors in advance so that they can avoid a fertility crisis like the one Jessica and Corey went through.
Frame Fertility's solution
Today’s fertility planning options are unacceptable. You either get lucky and get pregnant when you want to or you use fertility treatment (e.g., egg freezing, in vitro fertilization). As people wait longer to start families and recent innovation encourages more treatment, this problem will only get worse. Further, these treatments are not only physically and mentally demanding but also extremely costly for the individual and/or couple and their employer. Ironically, the American College of Gynecology, American Academy of Family Physicians, the CDC and HHS have endorsed a set of guidelines pointing to a solution: preconception counseling. Preconception counseling aims to reduce reliance on treatment by proactively addressing underlying health concerns (e.g., endometriosis, diabetes, substance abuse) that are a barrier to natural conception. However, only 14% of women receive preconception counseling due to lack of provider time and awareness of patients to even bring this up. Frame Fertility solves these challenges by translating clinical guidelines and research into a digital risk assessment and platform to go beyond luck and treatment and instead utilize preventive care.
Frame launched a proof of concept direct-to-consumer last year to paying users and is now working with employers and other partners with aligned incentives to expand the reach and scale of the solution. As the company continues to grow, Frame not only aims to help individuals take the pulse on their fertility on an ongoing basis but also to grow the research in this space to support better outcomes in fertility and preventive care more broadly.
One of Frame’s early users (we’ll call her, Anne) was recently married and excited to use the product to help her and her husband think through their next steps in starting a family. After using Frame, Anne’s assessment results helped her connect with an OB/GYN, who diagnosed her with PCOS and a thyroid disorder, and she also connected the dots with an employer benefit to help her with her anxiety. Similarly, her partner pursued a semen analysis after uncovering some lifestyle risks through Frame’s assessment, and given these factors, they moved up their timeline to start their family. In working with Frame and Frame’s 1:1 coaching service, Anne and her partner were not only able to conceive but they also experienced improvements in their overall health.
The Team Culture (optional) - who makes up the core team, what they care about and some anecdotes from life at work.
About the team
Frame’s founders are a wife/husband team complemented by a team of leading clinical experts, health coaches and an experienced Head of Operations. Frame was started during the pandemic, so they are a virtual team as of day 1 and are eager to maintain this flexibility and balance in the fabric of the company.
And more than anything, Frame is a family supporting other families.
Quote from the founder
“Frame’s mission is literally mirrored back at me every time I look at my daughter, and I feel lucky everyday that we are able to try to help someone else reach their goals and start their family.”
Check them out: https://framefertility.com/
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