The Cusp, a newly launched startup offering telemedicine services for women in perimenopause and menopause, is launching an at-home hormone test service that slashes the cost of in-office visits and lab tests.
Women in California can order the test at a cost of $159 for a telemedical consultation and test, versus roughly $500 for having the same test and lab work administered in a clinic, according to the company.
Unlike other, commonly prescribed hormone tests, The Cusp bases its still-to-be-clinically-validated test on new research that a key hormone measurement can help predict the time to menopause. The company is currently working with researchers to help the broader medical community validate these findings.
Although the test may not be clinically validated, the company said that its use of “menopause specialists” with specific training in issues surrounding perimenopause and menopause can provide a more complete diagnosis of a woman’s current state and what is likely to come next based on both clinical and laboratory data.
“Menopause is very stigmatized and midlife care is a highly underserved market. We launched The Cusp to provide women with a new model of care during this stage of life so women can optimize their health,” said The Cusp, chief executive, Taylor Sittler. “Our focus begins with perimenopause treatment, as early care can lead to healthier outcomes.”
The company said that the test is best for women experiencing early signs of perimenopause, typically between the ages of 42 and 50.
“Throughout my career I’ve been focused on the intersection of women’s health, menopause and breast cancer. It was shocking to me how little information is out there for women, so I worked with national committees helping establish guidelines for managing menopause symptoms and sexual functioning in cancer survivors,” said Dr. Mindy Goldman, director of the Gynecology Center for Cancer Survivors and At-Risk Women Program at UCSF, and a physician working with The Cusp. “I’m thrilled to be a part of The Cusp, as we are on the front lines providing women with comprehensive diagnostic tools and personalized care so that menopause can be faced head-on and managed with a multi-pronged approach that can include medical interventions, naturopathic solutions and/or hormone replacement therapies.”
The company is providing care to roughly 75 patients, and is growing its membership rapidly. With its recent launch, The Cusp has joined startups like CurieMD, Elektra Health and Geneve, which are all focused on providing medical services to women in perimenopause and menopause.
To date, the company has raised $4 million from investors, including HomeBrew, Village Global and individual investors like Katie Stanton and Megan Pai.
Sittler, a co-founder of Color Genomics, sees an opportunity in applying new diagnostics tests and technology to treating women as they enter menopause.
The Cusp charges an initial $210 for tests and the first three months of care and then an additional monthly fee of $72 per month.
“Being able to provide these personalized solutions that involve proprietary technologies… we would love to get into newer treatments… once we get a few zeros to our member number… there’s an initial advantage that we have in terms of the integration we’ve already done and the advantages that we have,” said Sittler.