Our latest interviewee is Irina Rymshina, one of co-founders of Hoope. She is an economist with BS degree in Finance from Russian University of Cooperation, and MBA in IT Management from ESAN University in Peru. Irina believes that miniaturization of existing technologies can lower the cost of healthcare tests and bring better life to low income countries.
Before Hoope, she worked at ABS-Electro and Softline. Irina is also a mentor for entrepreneurs at Founder Institute, Wayra and Startup Chile; Fellow of Startup Generation of Startup Canada; Ambassador of Women@TheFrontier Peru; and founding member of the Association of Entrepreneurs of Peru (ASEP).
Here’s what she had to say…
How would you pitch your company? What’s your elevator pitch?
Hoope is an affordable and easy to use medical device that enables rapid and painless diagnostic of the 4 most common sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and chlamydia) all in one test. Results are automatically shown in the Hoope app from where users can find valuable information about sexually transmitted diseases and receive follow-up recommendations based on their test results.
What sets you apart from competitors?
Hoope integrates the best features of existing STD testing techniques and prevention methods. Its price is as competitive as price of STD home test kits, and it is as reliable as laboratory testing (97% accuracy – Gold Standard). The Hoope app gives access to information about risks associated with STDs and provides recommendations regarding sexual health. The Hoope ring is based on the cutting edge lab-on-a-chip technologies.
What’s your business model?
We will sell rings and single use disposable cartridges directly to end users (young adults). We want to eliminate the need to go to a clinic for STD testing. It is more comfortable to do it from the privacy of your home.
The estimated price of Hoope Ring Kit is $50, which comes with one disposable cartridge which tests for four STDs. The price for each replacement cartridge is $15.
Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?
We are currently at the R&D stage. We expect to have fully functioning prototype by the end of the year. Currently we are performing testing of our microfluidic lab-on-a-chip and anesthesia system and have very good results. We expect to have Hoope ready next year.
Hoope has been validated with more than 2000 people in 10 different countries. Our potential users comment that Hoope is beautifully designed, easy to use and makes the testing procedure more private.
Where do you see the company going from here?
In the future we see a world in which people have access to Hoope technologies for an increasing number of applications. We are planning to expand the diagnostics to a broader range of diseases like HIV, cancer, diabetes, and other applications like pregnancy testing. Also we are looking to adapt Hoope for blood collection in remote areas with limited access to health infrastructure, and to use Hoope as an innovative method for the administration of medicine.
Where do you see the mHealth industry going?
I believe that mHealth has great future because smartphone penetration is increasing very fast, with almost an even share between Android and iOS devices, and users becoming e-commerce savvy, shopping both through mobile e-stores or in-app purchases. Mobile technology will allow people to gain control over their health and prevent diseases at early stage of development by using affordable, reliable and easy to use devices.
How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?
In my opinion, mHealth is already going mainstream. Every year we see more startups releasing amazing products to the market. Now we can use our DNA information to get a personalized diet, find perfect partner and receive the most suitable training plan. We can monitor our vital signs and sleeping habits with wearable devices. Also, we can make doctor appointments and receive test results using our mobile phones, and can even avoid stress by listening to the music that was design using neuroscience.
Exponential speed of technological advances will bring to mHealth even more innovation. In the future we will be able to have AI (example IBM Watson) to give us personalized recommendations based on our history and all medical information combined. We will be able replace our entire organs using 3D printed healthy copies.
Yes, I am very optimistic about the mHealth future.