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Brief Published: 28 Mar 2019

A Refreshingly Modern Take on Menopause Care

New American brand Rory is targeting midlife women with the same fresh, direct-to-consumer take on wellness seen in start-ups like Hims and Hers – in this case, tackling menopause by coupling telehealth with smartly branded pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products.

Rory's goods, some of which are prescription only, span physical discomfort (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and insomnia) and beauty concerns (like thinning eyelashes). The service offers an 'online visit' – an interactive form for specifying symptoms, mimicking the questions a medical professional covers in person; followed by a phone call or video chat with a doctor. Subsequently, women can query doctors through Rory's messaging portal.

It's a savvy move for parent company Ro, a US healthcare start-up that launched as male-focused brand Roman in 2017. America's 43 million midlife women are starved for wellness education, smartly branded products and tailored services (see Midlife Women & Wellness for more). Most are "completely unprepared" for midlife hormonal changes, as Rory co-founder Rachel Blank writes, and "may not even have the language to use to voice their concerns to their physicians". Addressing this, Rory integrates an educational blog and, importantly, a Facebook community, which has attracted around 1,200 members so far.

As detailed in Retail Joins the Family, brands can help ease consumers through transitional phases by providing safe spaces and support systems. For example, London-based menopause clothing brand Become sponsors an active Facebook community.

Rory follows several other start-ups that see potential in treating menopause via telehealth. Genneve connects American women by video chat with doctors or nurse practitioners for 15-minute consultations, while in Australia, WellFemme focuses on those in rural and remote areas. More broadly, telemedicine is forecast to boom globally, with a projected compound annual growth of 13% from 2017 to 2025 (Transparency Market Research, 2018) – making medical advice and pharmaceutical access more convenient, streamlined and, crucially, affordable.