Femtech startup Emme today announced the launch of EmmeRx, a birth control pill prescription delivery and telemedicine service. EmmeRx builds upon the success of the Emme Smart Case, which has been shown to deliver an 80% reduction in missed birth control pills. The new service is currently available in 16 states.
Emme was co-founded in 2017 by Amanda French and Janene Fuerch, MD out of the Stanford Biodesign Fellowship, and was named as one of Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2021. The Emme Smart Case uses patented, multi-sensor technology to track when pills are taken. The Smart Case syncs with the app to send persistent customized reminders until the dose is taken and provides contraceptive guidance when needed. The app also offers users a comprehensive view of their health by supporting cycle, mood, and side effect tracking. This is combined with prescription delivery and telemedicine to provide a fully integrated system for pill management. The company has raised $3.5M to date. Magnetic Ventures led the company’s seed round.
“EmmeRx rounds out our offering to remove barriers to contraceptive care,” said Amanda French, co-founder and CEO of Emme. “It’s the only prescription delivery service that comes with a pill and health tracking app for daily support, and we are actively generating the data necessary to deliver a more individualized care experience to help members find the right pill for their body sooner, reduce side effects, and avoid missed pills.”
Emme investor and board member Magnetic Ventures’ Christine Ayward noted: “Emme solves a real problem for women on birth control, while seamlessly capturing data to help drive improved outcomes. By driving trust, engagement, and improved results at the beginning of the women’s healthcare journey, Emme is positioned to win a patient’s loyalty for life.”
In a recent interview with Femtech Insider Amanda French reflects on the time when the company was getting started: “We were met with a lot of skepticism by people who didn’t understand firsthand the stress of missing birth control pills. Even experienced innovators who I admire and respect struggled to see a future where the standard of care in this category was elevated. To me, that only reinforced the major opportunity at stake. I think that challenge highlights the reality of why there has been such a lack of innovation in the space — there has been a cultural norm around the idea that missing pills, pregnancy scares, and hormone rollercoasters are just a part of life.”
Obstacles to contraceptive care include identifying the right prescription, taking the pill on time and struggles with side effects and symptoms. Nearly 50% of people who discontinue the pill do so because of negative symptoms and side effects, and up to 80% of people on the pill miss at least one pill per month. Missed pills currently lead to a 9% failure rate, resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies each year in the United States. Unplanned pregnancy drives an estimated cost of 21 billion dollars in the United States annually. The Emme Smart Birth Control System is designed as a fully integrated approach to address all of these challenges. It is currently only available at emme.com.