Almond is aiming to modernize obstetrical-gynecological (OB-GYN) care for birthing people who want something more “modern,” full service and comprehensive than the standard provider offers. Fresh out of Y Combinator, the company just announced a $7 million seed round.
“The patient experience today is slow, it’s incomplete, and ultimately it’s delivering not great outcomes,” said co-founder Tara Raffi, in an interview with TechCrunch. “We are under-delivering as a country. [Almond] is coming in and modernizing 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 by spend, right after primary care.
Current offerings include pregnancy planning, birth control counseling, infections, general wellness, period management and sexual health services. Prior to a patient’s appointment, they will fill out a health questionnaire and go over reasons for the visit so that when they are being seen it involves comprehensive conversations around the patient’s health instead of a general assessment. Patients also have the possibility of scheduling next-day telehealth appointments if they cannot make it into the office.
Almond charges users a $250 annual subscription fee and will bill insurance for the visit and labs. The subscription will provide patients access to the company’s platform, care team and personalized plans. Though the company did say individuals without insurance can seek treatment for an out-of-pocket cost.
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The company kept alluding to the fact it is trying to change the OB-GYN sector as OneMedical did for primary care by providing a direct-to-consumer membership model. Through a OneMedical subscription, individuals have access to 24/7 virtual care, software, personalized plans and what it considers “consistent, quality care.” Almond appears to be taking that approach through its subscription-based model. Almond’s co-founders told TechCrunch they hope to have as large of a reach, as OneMedical does, to patients.
The average cost for a general OB-GYN visit in the United States can range anywhere from $90 to $500, according to UCLA Health. At Almond, the cost of a general in-person visit, without insurance, is $300.
Additionally, Almond said it is making it a priority to provide abortion services and reproductive care, given the current political climate. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and with the midterm election results finalized, some states are expected to start making policy decisions restricting abortion services.
“The overturning of Roe is a reminder that women still aren’t given the right to be decision-makers of their own bodies. That is infuriating,” said Raffi.
According to the Pew Research Center, around half of abortions performed in a clinical setting were medical abortions, and as of 2017, there were only 1,587 facilities that provide abortion services nationally.
Abortion restrictions have disproportionately affected BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) populations. Even before Roe was overturned BIPOC communities already faced high barriers to reproductive care. According to a report published in the National Library of Medicine, Black and Latin women experience higher rates of unintended pregnancy compared to their white counterparts.
In addition to Almond, companies like Tia, a comprehensive women’s healthcare provider, and Stix, a women’s health product company, have been working to provide more full-service options in women’s health.
Almond originally made its debut as part of Y Combinators summer cohort and has since been able to garner support with an influx of capital in the form of a $7 million seed round led by True Ventures.
This round of funds will be used to grow the practices’ staff, further develop its platform and look into expansion.