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Evernow CEO and founder shares why she started a healthcare startup focused on women over 40

In response to emailed questions, Alicia Jackson talked about her healthcare background and how the healthcare startup is responding to a shifting legal landscape for women’s health following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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This article is part of a series sponsored by HLTH highlighting topics that will be discussed at the HLTH conference November 13-16 in Las Vegas. Alicia Jackson of Evernow will take part in the panel discussion Women are Healthcare, Gallery stage, Monday, Nov. 14, 11:50-12:20 pm.

Alicia Jackson is the CEO and founder of Evernow, a healthcare company designed to help women over 40 years old navigate their shifting healthcare needs. In response to emailed questions, she talked about why she started the company and how it is responding to shifting legal landscape for women’s health following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What attracted you to healthcare? What did you do before you began working for this company? 

I’ve been a scientist for most of my life because I’m drawn to solving big problems. I have a PhD from MIT, and I also spent much of my career working with the sciences in Washington—ultimately as the Deputy Director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office managing their 300 million dollar portfolio.

During my time at DARPA, I became intrigued by what I saw being accomplished by bringing the best of biotech into the startup space, and I eventually moved to San Francisco to co-found Drawbridge Health with GE. This experience, in turn, started to pave the way toward what I do today. I had been thinking a lot about the impact of hormone changes on fertility, and that quickly brought me to what happens in menopause and what a critical moment that is for women.

Hormonal shifts have a massive impact on both short-term and long-term health, and can represent a true crossroad in a woman’s healthcare journey. In light of this, it was clear that there was a need for more research—and for more actions on that research. If you’re looking for big problems, half the population is a pretty compelling place to double down.

Alicia Jackson

What does your company do? What services do you provide?

Evernow is a healthcare company for women in their second half lives—this typically means women over 40 who are experiencing the hormone shifts associated with perimenopause and menopause. We’ve offered hormone therapy (HT)  plans since day one, and as a team of scientists and technologists we take a great deal of pride in our ability to really follow and evolve with the latest research.

Whether or not a woman opts into HT, we offer 24/7 virtual care from our expert medical team on all aspects of hormone health. Our members never have to wait more than 24 hours for an answer, and we think this is important because the symptoms women experience at this time of life can be extremely surprising and even scary. Recently, we’ve also launched symptom-based programs for all of our members, as well as an app to really help members take control of their health.

In addition to how we work with members day-to-day, we’re also committed to moving science forward through research. Our ongoing menopause study includes well over 100,000 women and at this fall’s North American Menopause Society meeting we presented a poster on a subset of this data focused on how the symptoms of menopause are affected by race. That poster represents the largest body of research of its kind, and we believe it can play a role in creating better, more inclusive care delivery. We’re truly energized by the telemedicine’s potential to not just deliver but also actually improve care.

What unmet need or inadequately met need does your company seek to provide?

Imagine if there was one key factor that would greatly affect your lifespan and yet you had no way to learn about it and few options for addressing it. That’s been the status quo for generations of women facing menopause. It’s a crucial period for so very many aspects of health—from metabolic health to brain health to cardiovascular health. Yet until recently there just wasn’t much out there for women because the problem was complex and we’ve had a centuries-long precedent of sweeping it under the rug. We’re here to not only address that need through technology, but also use science innovate on what can be done.

What niche do you seek to fill? What sets you apart from other companies already in or moving into this space?

For too long, menopause has been under-researched, under-invested, and under-served, failing women during what can be an incredibly challenging time. Evernow is built with the ability to meet our members’ evolving needs—providing a core backbone of expert clinical support, informed and guided by deep patient data, to deliver the right personalized care at the right time for years to come. We see ourselves as part of our members’ long-term health team and also their scientific team, using our research to continuously help improve women’s healthcare for the second half of their lives.

Who are your target customers?

We primarily serve women over 40 who are experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. To give a sense of scale, more than two million women enter the menopause transition each year, and it’s a journey that can last ten-to-twenty years. Despite this, 75 percent of those who seek treatment don’t receive it. We’re here to meet their needs with both the care we deliver today and the ways we can move science forward for tomorrow.

Are there any challenges that the overturning of Roe v Wade and the abortion restrictions imposed by states present to women’s health that you are addressing with your business? 

Women over 40 can and do get pregnant—and something that we don’t talk about nearly enough is that they can even get pregnant while they’re on hormone therapy. Midlife pregnancies tend to be more likely to end in miscarriage, and they’re also more likely to be ectopic. Right now there’s a lot of confusion around when and how doctors can treat these patients. We really see ourselves as a source of information for women around this period of changing hormones, and now this feels more crucial than ever.

What’s on your to-do list for 2022-2023? What milestones are you seeking to meet in the next 18 months?

Our vision for the next 18 months is all about serving more women, for more of their needs. We’ll continue to extend the capabilities of our app and of our new flexible care platform that sets us up as a longitudinal care partner that can meet women’s needs wherever they are on their journey. As we do this, we’re also looking to expand our treatments (Rx, OTC, and digital programs) to address a wider array of menopause-related symptoms. Lastly, we’re diving even deeper with our research in order to deliver even greater insights on menopause and women’s health to help create better and more inclusive solutions for women everywhere.

Photo: marchmeena29, Getty Images