In today’s episode of the Busine$$ of the V, Rachel and Dr. Dweck have an incredibly inspiring and motivating conversation about how overcoming a disease can encourage you to start a business and help other people going through the same journey. Our guest today is Rachel Bartholomew, the founder and CEO of Hyivy Health, a company that has created the first intelligent and holistic pelvic rehabilitation device for women experiencing symptoms from pelvic cancers and diseases. Pelvic health issues are extremely common in women; in fact, one third of all women worldwide are experiencing these difficulties and are not receiving adequate education and support.
Rachel Bartholomew is a strong, thoughtful, and confident woman who has survived cervical cancer and is now able to understand and help other women in need. The idea for starting this company and creating her own pelvic health product came from times when she was feeling vulnerable and trying to find a distraction from her complex and painful history with cancer. She is now a true hero in the field of pelvic health, and her business continues to innovate pelvic health solutions for all women. Stay tuned to learn more about Rachel’s journey, as well as how Hyivy Health came to be and the pelvic rehab devices they are bringing to the women’s health market.
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- Meet Rachel Bartholomew, a remarkable woman whose complicated medical history inspired her to launch her own business and help other women facing similar challenges.
- Rachel tells us about her entrepreneurial background and how diverse her career has been so far.
- Nothing is more genuine and inspiring than a personal story, such as how Rachel Bartholomew’s battle with cervical cancer led to the formation of the company we’re discussing today, Hyivy Health.
- We learn that Rachel B. truly lives by the adage ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, as she created her product while recovering from illness.
- Dr. Dweck explains what cervical cancer is and walks us through Rachel’s treatment process.
- Our co-host Rachel Braun Scherl wants to know if the doctors had previously prepared and educated her on the procedures.
- The decision-making process in these situations is so quick, says Rachel B., and you often have to make them without all the necessary information.
- Rachel B. believes that patients should be informed of all the consequences and implications of their decisions, since doctors frequently overlook the quality of life that ensues.
- Alyssa is curious about how Hyivy assists other women who face some or all of the difficulties that Rachel had gone through.
- Our guest’s product is essentially an improved version of a vaginal dilator, and it comes with a variety of benefits such as thermal therapy and auto-dilation.
- There is a clinician software that reviews the data so that the users can get valid feedback and track their own progress.
- Rachel Braun Scherl notes that the company is still going through the FDA approval process and wonders when and how they will be available.
- We learn that the product will be simple to use and that patients will be encouraged to use it more regularly at home (which they typically do not).
- The entire process is envisioned as an in-person interaction in which people come into the office and discuss their issues.
- Rachel Braun Scherl wonders how the company raised the funds and which factors contributed the most to its overall success.
- Dr. Dweck elaborates on all possible applications for the product in question, stating that it is not just for cancer patients.
- Rachel B. explains that one of the most difficult aspects of the process is walking the investors through the numbers as many people are not aware of the prevalence of pelvic health issues.
- Being open and sharing your personal story is always the best approach, according to Rachel B., who adds that many investors are then inspired to share their own experiences with pelvic health issues in their families.
- The name of the company, Hyivy, stems from an elaborate wordplay and primarily refers to female body parts.
- HOT FLASH: According to CDC, HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, about 70% of vaginal and vulva cancers, and more than 60% of penile cancers.
“I took a break from entrepreneurship, said I was going to take at least a year and not start a company, and I really failed miserably at that.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“I realized that there was this 84-year-old technology called a vaginal dilator that I had actually used 11 years prior for a completely different situation, and I realized that nothing had changed in those 11 years.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“It’s important to recognize that your history of having cervical cancer typically hits people at a very young age, so 28 is not an unusual age.” (Dr. Dweck)
“You built a business from the hospital, which is so brave and really about turning lemons into lemonades.” (Rachel Braun Scherl)
“One of the things that you go through when you go through this is that the decision making is so quick, often without all of the information at the table or it slides through as you’re going through.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“What I’ve created is an enhanced version of the dilator, and essentially we’re using a combination of a number of different therapeutics as well as sensors to be able to track and monitor progress.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“One of the things that does keep people engaged in these tedious programs is to have these frequent visits; people fall off the wagon all the time because it’s a chore.” (Dr. Dweck)
“We’re not solving endometriosis, but we’re helping with the management of all the things that endometriosis patients go through, and a large piece of that is chronic pelvic pain.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“We’re also looking at the female sexual function index, looking at adherence, looking at the use of pain medication and ER visits, and a couple more of measurements.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“Just for edification, the female sexual function index is a validated questionnaire, so it’s valid no matter in which study you’re doing it.” (Dr. Dweck)
“We initially see this being an in-person meet-up with the doctor so that the users can actually go through that education piece which is so important.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“We’ve been in this space for a long time, and it’s very difficult to raise money when you’re talking about unpleasant and uncomfortable topics.” (Rachel Braun Scherl)
“Dilators and your device in particular are not only for people who have had cancer. They are used for endometriosis, for other types of surgery, for the atrophic vagina, and the incontinence issues.” (Dr. Dweck)
“Part of that discussion with investors is that, unfortunately, I have to spend a lot of time walking them through the numbers and through the market.” (Rachel Bartholomew)
“What you’re saying and doing, educating the investors as well as potential users, is really so important.” (Rachel Braun Scherl)
LINKS FOR BUSINE$$ OF THE V:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck: https://drdweck.com Rachel Braun Scherl: www.sparksolutionsforgrowth.com/about-rachel-braun-scherl/