Meet The Company Offering An Innovative Medication-Free
Approach To Better Pelvic Floor Health, Bringing Female Urinary Incontinence Out Of The Closet
Marija Butkovic 12:26am EDT
I write about innovative tech companies and women behind them.
Almost 50% of women of the age 50-plus live with urinary incontinence, research shows
Urinary incontinence rarely gets our attention, unless we have problems with it. It rarely gets attention unless there is a medical issue connected to it. Yet, almost 50% of women of the age 50-plus live with it. What’s worse: 24% also suffer from bowel leaks, called fecal incontinence. While urinary incontinence is terrible and can limit activity, fecal incontinence is associated with shame, social isolation, and higher rates of nursing home placement.
There’s, of course, do-it-yourself treatment for urinary incontinence that’s backed by medical data – it’s Kegels: the pelvic floor exercises women are encouraged to do after childbirth. However, data show only 25% of Kegel- enthusiasts do them correctly.
That’s why Renovia – digital-first healthcare delivering therapeutic and diagnostic devices for women with pelvic floor disorders, brought together
some of the top clinical and business leaders in women’s health to change the narrative of pelvic floor health.
Eileen Maus, CEO of Renovia
“Our mothers and our grandmothers were told that leaking urine, or a sudden urge to go that they can’t control, is a normal part of aging or a necessary consequence of childbirth. Our generation – and depending on their ages – our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters are still hearing this message. Urinary incontinence is common—and has been normalized—but it’s not normal,” shares Eileen Maus, CEO of Renovia. Maus is a healthcare and femtech veteran with 20-plus years of experience as a healthcare industry sales and marketing executive.
Prior to Renovia, she served as Chief Commercial Officer of Constitutional
Medical Investors, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus, and in addition to participating in the diligence of diagnostic companies for potential acquisition, she also developed the commercial plan for disruptive technology in the hematology space that was acquired by Roche Diagnostic. In 1996, Maus was part of the Cytyc team that displaced the Pap smear with the FDA-approved ThinPrep Pap Test, which was the first improvement to cervical cancer screening in 70 years (another area of women’s health that was ignored because 5,000 cervical cancer deaths a year was “considered acceptable”).
The company’s first product is the leva Therapeutic – an FDA-cleared device, a small vaginal probe, that can help women train their pelvic floor muscles to help treat urinary leakage. It combines patented sensor and app technology, enabling women to do their pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly and consistently, medication-free.
Renovia’s first product is the leva Therapeutic – an FDA-cleared device, a small vaginal probe, that … [+]
“Part of our mission is to educate women about this area of their health. For too long, pad and adult diaper companies have tried to position bladder issues as a normal part of a woman’s aging. We’re going to change that narrative by offering better care and educating women. Women want education and information about how to address the challenge of urinary incontinence. A healthy core is not only about flat abs but instead about a healthy pelvic floor to keep our bladder, uterus, and rectum in place and functioning optimally,” explains Maus.
The Ieva Therapeutic is prescribed by a woman’s clinician, followed by
guidance through the Ieva app, then her use and adherence are supported by the Renovia Women’s Center and progress reports are sent to the prescribing clinician. This full-stack approach is also grounded in science and evidence – Maus and her team are dedicated to clinical research and are always partnering with leading research centers to build on their body of evidence. “We recently completed a large multi-center clinical trial with great results. I can’t really say more just yet but we’re thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait to publish the results later this year,” adds Maus.
It would be wrong to assume that the innovative process behind a device such as Ieva is short and simple. The first generation of the Ieva device was invented a number of years ago by Renovia’s clinical founder, a urogynecologist. This first-gen product had the same sensor and app mechanism of action but needed an improved form factor and a more interactive app – to help support patient adherence. Adherence with any course of treatment is absolutely critical for symptom improvement so Renovia’s team worked hard to make the product more appealing, discreet, and engaging.
“We launched the current-generation Ieva Therapeutic in Q3 2020. Launching a new prescription product in the midst of a pandemic wasn’t easy but the reception from patients and prescribers has been tremendous. With patients from age 20 to mid-’80s, It’s clear we’re offering something innovative in a space that is ripe for disruption.”
With more than $70 million raised in funding so far, Maus cannot be more excited about the future: the company will be expanding its sales force, conducting more clinical trials, and moving forward with new FDA-cleared indications for leva in pelvic floor health.
“I think 2020 has shown how flexible, adaptable, and resilient women are. Women have taken everything the pandemic threw at them and stood taller. However, women have also borne a disproportionate share of the socio- economic impacts of the pandemic, and continue to take care of everyone
else first. So each of us needs to think about the future. We need to take the time to make sure we are as healthy as we can be moving into the future, and pelvic floor health should be part of that plan,” concludes Maus.
Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.
I’m a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, innovation and business consultant, startup mentor, advisor, and founder of Women of Wearables – a global organization for women in