In our recent conversation with Dany Sabraoui, co-CEO and co-founder of EarlyReveal, we delved into his responsibilities as the Co-CEO and explored the growing importance of at-home healthcare for modern women. Dany discussed the limitations that restrict consumers’ and businesses’ access to at-home healthcare, along with potential solutions to overcome these obstacles. He also touched upon the challenges faced by local FemTech businesses and provided an insightful overview of the current state and future prospects of the FemTech industry in Canada.
Dany Sabraoui, a 31-year-old entrepreneur, is the co-CEO and co-founder of EarlyReveal, a FemTech company that he started after gaining 7 years of experience in the health and medical device industry. His background in the MedTech field has given him a unique perspective on the importance of genetic information, and his passion for making this information accessible to people around the world has driven the success of his company.
As the co-CEO of EarlyReveal, Dany focuses on making genetic information accessible to people in Canada and beyond. He believes that everyone should have access to this valuable information, which can improve their health and well-being. He is dedicated to building a company that can provide people with the tools they need to take control of their health, starting with genetic testing.
Dany has traveled extensively, selling medical devices and training teams in the Middle East and across Europe. This experience has given him a deep understanding of the global healthcare industry, and he has used this knowledge to help drive the success of EarlyReveal. He works closely with his marketing, sales, and business development teams to develop innovative strategies that will help make his goal of making genetic information accessible to everyone a reality.
Despite the challenges of building a new company in a rapidly-evolving industry, Dany remains committed to his vision. He is driven by a desire to make a difference in the world and to help people improve their lives through the power of genetic information. With his leadership and dedication, EarlyReveal is poised for continued growth and success in the years to come.
On his time off, Dany enjoys leisure travel, spending time with friends and family as well as playing soccer competitively in local leagues in Ottawa, Ontario.
When did you start your professional career? And what are your responsibilities as the Co-CEO of EarlyReveal?
Coming out of the University of Ottawa, I started my career in government in the health sector and quickly transitioned into the private sector selling medical devices. After spending half a decade in this industry, my current business partner, Steve Ndikumana, and I spent time researching the health-tech industry to identify a niche market that would align with our vision: Make genetic information affordable and accessible to all Canadians, regardless of their gender, race, socioeconomic status and whereabouts. I met Ndikumana during my studies at the University of Ottawa and over the years, we founded multiple businesses. After many sleepless nights and endless days of brainstorming, and a year of lab research, we finally discovered a gap in the market – a lack of available information for pregnant women in the health space.
As Co-CEO, a role I proudly share with my business partner, my responsibilities include overseeing the company’s operations, developing and implementing the business strategies, managing the team and ensuring the company meets its goals and objectives.
Why do you believe that modern women need at-home healthcare more than ever before? What benefits do they provide for women?
Even if our business is geared towards women, we wouldn’t limit at-home healthcare to women’s only needs, we’d expand that to include men as well. Modern parents lead busy lives, juggling multiple responsibilities such as work, family, and personal commitments. At-home healthcare services can provide them with convenient and accessible options for receiving medical care without the need for them to invest many hours of the day. This can be particularly beneficial for those who may live in remote areas or have limited access to transportation.
I believe, through at-home healthcare services, we can also provide more personalized care for more people, allowing them to receive care in the comfort of their own homes and helping them reduce the risk of exposure to illnesses in public settings. This became especially evident during the pandemic. Furthermore, we can expand on the at-home testing to talk about the society that we currently live in (in the west at least). A lot has become fast-paced, personalized and easily accessible. Thinking about Uber, online shopping, Amazon, etc., we’ve become accustomed to paying a premium price for convenience and we don’t think this is purely limited to the purchase of commodities but is slowly creeping into the health space.
What, in your opinion, limits consumers’ and businesses’ access to at-home healthcare? And what are some possible solutions to this concern?
Lack of awareness and cost are the key major areas that I think healthcare service providers, with support from the government and public, can address to deliver a strong solution.
Many people are not aware of the availability and benefits of at-home healthcare services. They may not know that they can receive medical care at home, and thus, refrain from seeking out these services. We know this to be true from firsthand experience; a lot of women who find out about EarlyReveal after they’ve given birth wish that they had known we existed in the marketplace so they could have experienced the celebration earlier during their pregnancy. This can be explained in multiple ways but I think the main takeaway is that there’s a lack of knowledge of what’s available through the private sector and we aim to bridge that gap.
Apart from that, the cost of at-home healthcare services is also a concern for many people. Many private home care providers are not covered by Canadian Health Care services, thus limiting access for a large number of people. One of the solutions which the industry is making a great effort to develop, and EarlyReveal is contributing to, is to create more products that help tackle certain health issues that demand easier care.
What are the difficulties for female patients and healthcare professionals accessing information about their health? How are they going to fill those gaps?
There’s a gap that exists in the access and availability of information that is provided to patients in Canada, most notably to female patients. Our research shows that there are limited resources available to women about their health. A majority of them rely solely on their healthcare professional to inform them about their health condition. This is especially true during pregnancy resulting in the inability to play a proactive role in managing and protecting their own health.
In order to bridge the gap, we realized an at-home service can be the link that connects female patients and healthcare information. By being provided with an alternative source, women do not have to rely on a single source for information about their health. At EarlyReveal, we strongly believe that women should have the freedom to access their health information. The right to access this information is one of our key motivations for delivering a solution that enables genetic information, starting with pregnant women and early gender detection of their babies.
What are the various challenges faced by local FemTech businesses? And how can they overcome those challenges?
The FemTech space in Canada is still in an early stage. There is lots of room for growth yet challenges to tackle. Here are what we see as the biggest challenges to overcome:
Limited funding: Many FemTech startups struggle to secure funding due to limited access to venture capital, lack of awareness about the market potential of their products or services, and gender bias in the investment community. Just 2.3 percent of funding went towards women’s health-focused research and technology in 2020. Furthermore, products that benefit nearly 50% of the population are considered “niche” to investors, posing more difficulties to the industry players in terms of seeking financial support.
Limited market access: As a new business, in a relatively new industry, not everyone is willing to greet Femtech products with open arms. Since starting EarlyReveal, we’ve noticed that some consumers are extremely excited about the development of technologies within the space while others are equally skeptical. A lot of this can be attributed to the lack of information that’s available to the general public about health-tech developments but also because of the regulatory bodies that are in place which limit the availability of certain tests.
As a young FemTech company based in Ottawa, we’ve gone through and overcome difficulties that our fellow startups are facing in their entrepreneurship. From our experience, here is what we have seen to be the preferred strategies to stay afloat and move ahead in this market as a local startup:
Seek out alternative funding sources: FemTech startups can explore alternative funding sources such as crowdfunding, impact investing, and grants from organizations that support FemTech research and development.
Collaborate with healthcare providers: FemTech businesses can partner with healthcare providers to develop products and services that meet the needs of patients and providers. This can help businesses gain market access and build credibility. This is how EarlyReveal was able to go from a local online shop to selling Canada-wide within just a couple of months. Using the voices and faces that women trust, Physicians and nurses, allows us to gain our customer’s trust and they know they’re using a trust-worthy product.
Educate consumers and healthcare providers: Since the entire industry is still new, FemTech businesses can raise awareness about their products and services among consumers and healthcare providers through targeted marketing and educational initiatives. This can help build demand for FemTech solutions and drive market growth. We do this by having resources available to our customers on our website and hope to become a safe place where women come to ask questions and seek information about their pregnancy.
What is the current state and the future of FemTech in Canada? What are the factors impacting its development?
Despite the above-mentioned challenges, the Canadian FemTech industry is currently in a state of growth, with several new startups emerging in recent years (EarlyReveal, Only, Bloomth, etc.). The industry has been boosted by increased awareness of women’s health issues and a growing demand for personalized health solutions.
The future of FemTech in Canada looks promising, with the industry poised for continued growth. The industry is also likely to benefit from an increased focus on women’s health issues and the growing demand for personalized healthcare solutions.