Ovee began with the collection of stories. This is one woman’s story:
Day 0: What’s going on down there? So much itching and burning? I’ve extensively Googled symptoms for several hours. Is it an STD? Or maybe I’m pregnant? If Google says so it must be true…let’s hope it just goes away.
Day 5: Alright, I’m starting to think I seriously need to see a doctor. But what if it’s chlamydia? Would I have to call all of my previous partners? I would die of embarrassment. Maybe it’s nothing, I’ll just wait it out.
Day 8: Ok something is definitely wrong. I’m peeing every hour and the burning has gotten so much worse. I should call Planned Parenthood and schedule an appointment. Easy-peasy.
Day 8.5: Oh no, the next available appointment is four days from now. I think I can make it that long, it’s probably nothing…
Day 10: The pain is unbearable. My friend is taking me to the emergency room.
Day 10.5: A urinary tract infection, left untreated that progressed and became a kidney infection. Several days in the hospital and multiple rounds of antibiotics later…
Women aren’t seeking the care they need right when they need it; the sexual and reproductive healthcare system is overwhelming. We interviewed hundreds of women that echoed the same patterns of oversight:
“I don’t have access to reliable health care. I don’t know what to do or who I can talk to when anything goes wrong.” —27 y.o. female
“I DO want to be proactive about my preventive care but it’s so stressful to find a doctor that I like and will accept my insurance. I’m always worried about feeling embarrassed or judged because of my lifestyle choices.” — 22 y.o. female
Every woman has unique health care needs, but unfortunately, for young women in particular, there is a lack of support and outreach that makes preventive care more personal. The information that is out there can be intimidating and difficult to navigate and women often avoid visiting the gynecologist due to fear or a lack of knowledge of what is available to them. In fact, in 2016 only 15% of visits to the gynecologist were women age 15–24. This is concerning because women at that age are at the highest risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
Ovee is designed to give women more control over their sexual and reproductive health. We’re integrating new interface technologies, including artificial intelligence, as a way to address women’s unique healthcare needs.
When we were conducting our customer research, two of the most common patterns we noticed was 42.65% of women wanted to remain anonymous and 40% admitted to lying to their doctors. By leveraging artificial intelligence in the form of a chat bot we are able to create a safe space for women to ask questions without fear of judgement and receive reliable, curated information.
When women feel less anxious, and more comfortable discussing their health, we believe this will shorten the timeline to seek care. We aim to not replace, but form a bridge to an actual doctor.
In addition, Ovee reimagines the way women engage with health content. Interactive animations provide information in an easily digestible and non-intimidating way. It allows women to view content privately in the comfort of their own space on their own time; no longer do they have to be burdened with carrying a large “I have chlamydia” pamphlet on the subway.
Eventually, we would like to lower the barrier for every woman to receive the care they need and deserve.
When it comes to their bodies, women are often left out of the conversation. With our ever-changing political climate, it is important now more than ever that women feel comfortable discussing their health and have the tools to take back control.
Why are we at Matter?
We are passionate about our mission and it was really important to us that we found the right support network and community to help Ovee reach it’s full potential while still maintaining our values.
The community supports collaboration, iteration, a safe space to fail, and most importantly a dedication to promoting social good. We believe this environment enables us to create the most meaningful product.
As a team of user centered designers, former health scientists, and women we are constantly exploring innovative ways to address uncomfortable topics. Our mission is to provide the necessary resources to empower women to have agency over their health and bridge the gaps in sexual and reproductive healthcare.