Almond aims to modernize obstetric gynecological (Ob-Gyn) care for people who have given birth and want something more modern, complete and comprehensive than the standard provider offers. Fresh out of Y Combinator, the company just announced a $7 million seed round.
“Patient experience today is slow, incomplete, and ultimately doesn’t deliver great results,” said co-founder Tara Raffi in an interview with gotechbusiness.com. “We are underperforming as a country. [Almond] enters and modernizes the Ob-Gyn office.
According to a 2020 report published in the Commonwealth Fund, 75% of women in the country are dissatisfied with their Ob-Gyn care. The specialty is the second largest specialty in terms of expenses, right after primary care.
Current offerings include pregnancy planning, contraception, infections, general wellness, menstrual management, and sexual health services. Prior to a patient’s appointment, they fill out a health questionnaire and discuss the reasons for the visit so that when they are seen, it involves extensive conversations about the patient’s health rather than an overall assessment. Patients also have the option to schedule telehealth appointments for the following day if they are unable to make it to the office.
Almond charges users a $250 annual subscription fee and bills insurance for the visit and labs. The subscription gives patients access to the company’s platform, care team and personalized subscriptions. Though the company said individuals without insurance can seek treatment at an out-of-pocket cost.
The company kept referring to the fact that it is trying to change the Ob-Gyn industry, as OneMedical did for primary care, by offering a direct-to-consumer membership model. Through a OneMedical subscription, individuals can access 24/7 virtual care, software, personalized plans, and what it deems “consistent quality care.” Almond appears to be taking that approach through its subscription-based model. Almond’s co-founders told gotechbusiness.com they hope to have as wide a reach as OneMedical has for patients.
The average cost for a general Ob-Gyn visit in the United States can range from $90 to $500, according to UCLA Health. At Almond, the cost of a general in-person visit, without insurance, is $300.
In addition, Almond said it is making it a priority to provide abortion services and reproductive care given the current political climate. Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade and with the final results of the midterm elections, some states are expected to begin making policy decisions restricting abortion services.
“Roe’s overthrow is a reminder that women are still not given the right to be decision makers of their own bodies. That is infuriating,” said Raffi.
According to the Pew research centerabout half of abortions performed in a clinical setting were medical abortions, and as of 2017 there were only 1,587 facilities offering abortion services nationally.
Abortion restrictions have disproportionately affected BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) populations. Even before Roe was overthrown, BIPOC communities already faced high barriers to reproductive care. According to an report published in the National Library of Medicine, black and Latinx women experience more unintended pregnancies compared to their white counterparts.
In addition to Almond, companies like Tia, a comprehensive women’s health care provider, and Stix, a women’s health products company, have been working to provide more full-service options in women’s health.
Almond originally made his debut as part of Y Combinators summer cohort and has since been able to garner support with a capital inflow in the form of a $7 million seed round led by True Ventures.
This round of funding will be used to grow the practice’s staff, further develop the platform and explore expansion.