I had the pleasure of interviewing Sylvia Kang, the co-founder and CEO of Mira. Mira is the first FDA and CE registered comprehensive women’s health and chronic disease monitoring platform with 99% of accuracy. Mira tracks cycles, predicts ovulation, monitors fetal health, measures ovarian reserve and detects menopause at home, using the hospital-leveled technology within a palm-sized device. Users simply insert one of the disposable Mira Wands, after providing a urine sample, into the analyzing device’s Mira Fertility Wand slot. The data collected automatically syncs to the Mira app, making at-home health testing and analysis easy and convenient. The AI learns personal health patterns, providing personalized health data interpretation and behavior guidance to each person. In the app, users can then connecting directly with doctors to discuss their results. The future of at-home testing and analysis is here!
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have a MBA from Cornell and Master in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia. I served as a Business Director in a Fortune 500 life science company before I founded Mira.
Throughout my education and in the early stage of my career, I met a lot of friends who, like me, prioritized their career advancement and higher education, and tended to delay their maternal age. For women in today’s age, it is extremely important and vital to have access to continuous health information (Because Modern Fertility does fertility testing but its sending a drop of blood to the lab, so its not continuous) about when to try for a baby, yet there is no company working to provide that information. These women, like my previous self, had no awareness about their fertility health. They found themselves going from avoiding pregnancy to experiencing infertility directly.
Currently, all hormone-based fertility trackers on the market estimate ovulation based on a hard hormone threshold — a population average. On the other side, there is no way a woman could go to hospital for a test every day. Women have had no opportunity to receive personalized, simple, lab-grade accuracy, at-home test results. I was seeing the increased frustration women were facing when trying for a baby, and I wanted to use my background to finally provide a solution.
Women’s hormones change daily and follow certain patterns every month, which makes daily testing very necessary, and it can only happen at home. I believe home testing is a highly needed but a very lacking area due to technology limitations, until now with Mira.
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
As mentioned above, I prioritized my education and career advancement in the past few years. I saw the struggle my friends were going through when trying to conceive. Currently each IVF cycle costs >$30k with no guarantee to be successful. Many women have to go through multiple cycles, racking up an extremely large hospital bill, with no insurance coverage. It is a very stressful and emotionally draining journey. The fertility and women’s health journey should be easy, smooth, and less worried.
To support women in life and career, we should empower them to better understand their own health, make better decisions and have more control about their life and career. I really wanted to finally do something for ourselves. That’s why my team and I invented Mira.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other doctors/clinicians/healers to help their patients to thrive?
1. We should put ourselves in the patients’ shoes, and aim to make their experience and journey easier. At Mira, we not only provide the most accurate and convenient health testing at home, we also provide women with personalized solutions based on their test outcome, such as connection with a telemedicine doctor, nutritional program, and other fertility related product recommendations. The goal is make their experience easy and worry free.
2. Every patient is different. Every woman has different hormone levels, and even every cycle of the same woman could be different. Personalization is very important to make the outcome effective. Mira’s AI learns individual’s home pattern so we have the best accuracy that specifically optimized for the individual.
3. Give patients really easy-to-understand and specific advice. We need to work to make the patients journey easier, not harder. On our Mira App, our AI interprets the data and tells the user exactly what action they need to take to reach their fertility goal. The testing results are automatically synced and charted on the Mira App, so our users will not need to do any more fertility charting!
4. Give patients more emotional support. In my area, fertility is not an easy journey to go through. There are many ups and downs. We are the ones who they trust that can help them. They need more encouragement and support to keep going down the path to reach their fertility goal. That’s why we provide encouraging and educational content for our Mira users.
5. Help them find peer support, so they know they are not alone. Our engaged Mira community is a very closed group. People ask and answer questions here. People share their experience to ask other’s support and also provide their support to others.
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
I think it will help with the awareness level of women’s health and attract more attention onto this topic. We need more people to pay attention to women’s health. Fertility is a trending issue right now, given people are getting married and having children much later than 10 years ago. With that said, most of the fertility tracking products are still a rough estimation instead of a lab-graded testing. We have a long way to go as an industry whole.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
Entrepreneurship is hard to learn by taking a class or looking at others doing it. You need to take it upon yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and work to figure out a specific path that works for you, something you are passionate about.
Being a female, I feel sometimes we tend to be less confident, or setting overly high standards for ourselves. This might keep our work quality high in the short term, but it may let us lose opportunities as we don’t have strong confidence to ask for what we need and deserve. As an entrepreneur, uncertainties are constantly present in our daily life and things will never be perfect. If we don’t ask, we won’t get the opportunity. If we don’t promote ourselves, our business won’t move forward. Rather than spending time to dream or listen to others, the most effective way is to do it by yourself. When you hit a wall, seek help and advice, and keep going again.
Also, who you employ on your team is extremely important and crucial to success. Take time to find the best team for yourself, when you are ready. It is important to have a diverse team, that can offer advice and help on all aspects of your business.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would choose to create a movement around supporting women to have a career, and also a family, and the ability to take charge of their health insights. As a woman, we face different physiological and health situations. How to balance family and career is a more challenging topic for us than for men. By knowing her own health better, one woman can make better decisions on her life and career decisions, which gives her more enjoyable life experiences and empowers her to achieve more in her career.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
If interested, all readers can now purchase Mira Fertility at https://www.miracare.com/ with a limited pre-launch promotion.
Mira can be found on Instagram under the username @mirafertility and on Facebook under Mira Fertility. I am greatly looking forward to connecting with you all on social media and having you follow our Mira journey as we continue to expand our product line to make affordable, at-home women’s health testing and analysis accessible to all.
Originally published at medium.com