So Morgan, tell us a bit about yourself and Orchyd.
I co-founded a period care startup called Orchyd in San Diego, California. My professional experience in the FemTech space is quite limited given that Orchyd is technically my first “real” job since graduating from Boston University in 2019; however, I’ve had a period since I was 13, so I am definitely familiar with the menstrual side of FemTech.
As a co-founder, I wear many little hats. Most of my energy focuses on project management, product development, and operations.
“Orchyd is technically my first “real” job since graduating from Boston University in 2019”
Orchyd is a Bluetooth-connected period smart case and app that learns and improves your period. Our smart case holds a day’s supply of any period care products: tampons, pads, cups, disc, underwear, whichever is your favourite! It is made of sustainable materials, 93% water-based polyethene, and a zinc alloy zipper (meaning it biodegrades in a landfill in two years).
You can use the free app to track where you last left your smart case so that you never leave home without the supplies you need. Our app is ad-free, never sells your data, HIPPA compliant, OB/GYN approved, and available for free download at the Apple Store (Android coming soon). It also connects you to a 24/7 OB/GYN network where users can chat on-demand with a real doctor and get help with UTIs, yeast infections, pregnancy, PMS, and more. Consultations are less than the national copay, and no insurance is needed.
What motivated you to set up Orchyd?
“As a brand, Orchyd values inclusivity, accessibility, sustainability, and innovation.“
I created Orchyd with my sister because we were not satisfied with the current options available in terms of apps, products, and overall support. There is a general lack of inclusivity, accessibility, and innovation when it comes to menstrual care. This spurred us to create a brand that holds strong values and delivers what we saw was missing.
Our friends are our biggest motivators. In college, I was a part of the Vagina Monologues (now called The Monologues). This experience opened my eyes to period talk and how many of us have similar, yet different, experiences with menstruation. My sister and I strive to make Orchyd a brand our friends (and our friends’ friends) would use.
As a company what are you passionate about?
During the early part of our research and product development, I discovered Murphy’s Law of Menstruation which states that 86% of menstruators have started their period in public without the supplies they needed. This statistic really pushed us to create our period smart case. The Bluetooth tether allows the app to send you notifications if you have left your smart case behind during your period window and when to replenish products before your period starts.
“Murphy’s Law of Menstruation which states that 86% of menstruators have started their period in public without the supplies they needed”
Orchyd’s proudest moment was the first download of our app after it left TestFlight. After months of beta testing, user feedback, and redesigning it was impactful to see our hard work received by the community we designed it for.
Honestly, our app developer and designer (shoutout to Kyle and Caitlin) were the key to achieving this. They were very patient and quick with the number of requested changes we made last minute. Everyone was eager to create an app that was better than the others.
What are your dreams for Orchyd?
I see Orchyd as an established period care brand that raises the bar and holds other menstrual companies accountable when it comes to inclusivity, sustainability, and accessibility.
“maintain a two-way conversation, ensuring that the services and products we are developing reflect their needs”
I see a strong community we engage with and maintain a two-way conversation, ensuring that the services and products we are developing reflect their needs. As we expand Orchyd globally, I foresee a challenge when it comes to the Orchyd app and OB/GYN Now™.
We want to make the app available in multiple languages and ensure that OB/GYN Now™ complies with each country’s set of regulations when it comes to user data privacy. One opportunity I am most excited about implementing is eco-friendly packaging and product design. There’s so much room for creativity these days!
What is your FemTech Forecast for 2021?
Considering the last year, there is a growing demand for digital health solutions. Telehealth has become a basic necessity and is the ideal solution for individuals who would prefer to get the care they need from the comfort of their homes. This goes hand-in-hand with FemTech.
“I believe there will be a rise in smart devices specifically tailored to the user’s needs”
Telehealth within FemTech means better sexual and reproductive healthcare for all. Including individuals who might otherwise, not have access to the resources or answers they need. This is especially prevalent for people who live in rural areas and individuals who do not feel welcome or adequately cared for within the current health space.
In line with more personalized healthcare, I believe there will be a rise in smart devices specifically tailored to the user’s needs. We already see this with birth control, fertility, vibrators, and of course, menstruation. The FemTech space is arguably the most perceptive industry that swiftly pivots as it strives to honour the user’s needs. Of course, we at Orchyd view the Smart Case as a part of this movement.