Ro is a digital health company specializing in a vertically integrated platform of in-home, telemedicine, and pharmacy services. The company aims to be a patient’s one-stop-shop for all of their healthcare needs and has now taken a strategic new step toward that goal.
Ro has recently announced that it will acquire Modern Fertility, a health startup focusing on fertility testing services. The $225 million deal will open a gateway for Ro to dive further into the fertility testing industry, as well as expand its women’s health services.
Modern Fertility first launched in 2017, specializing in at-home fertility testing. Initially co-founded by Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy, who will now lead the women’s health branch of Ro’s healthcare offerings, the company is best known for its low-priced hormone test which can estimate a woman’s ovarian reserve to determine which fertility treatment will bring about the largest chance of success. Along with this, Modern Fertility also offers digital tools backed by research and physicians, to inform those seeking help with fertility about their wide array of options.
Women, especially women of color, have been historically underrepresented in the medical field. Women are more likely than men to die in situations requiring CPR and wait longer for certain cancer diagnoses. Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women and 74% of respondents to a survey about healthcare reported that they were not taken seriously by medical professionals during doctor visits. These statistics are a result of years of limited access and testing for female presenting patients.
This is why this step into women’s health by Ro is a crucial one, and one that is part of a larger overall trend in digital healthcare. In the last year, women-focused digital-health startups rose by 105% to $418 million spread across 22 companies. And with 1 in 6 couples struggling with infertility, a more accessible treatment platform is a necessary part of that healthcare expansion initiative.
Through the acquisition of Modern Fertility, Ro plans to become a leader in service availability and fertility tools, combining its existing resources in the field with Modern Fertility’s innovations in at-home fertility testing.