Driving Natural Balance and Wellbeing
“The best time to focus on daily wellness and boosting your immune system is before medication becomes necessary,” says Brigitte Thito, Founder & CEO, Family Self Care. Preventative healthcare, unlike mainstream medicine, moves in the direction of natural medicine and prevention before needing care. Savings in healthcare costs due to prevention is a key benefit that we cannot ignore.
A go-getter by nature and an intuitive person, Brigitte integrated technology into the preventative healthcare to drive natural balance and daily wellbeing through Family Self Care. “We see technology allowing greater accessibility to natural wellness in two areas, mobile apps and hardware.” The first wave allows consumers to easily access natural wellness solutions using mobile apps. “The largest example of this has been the growth in the meditation field where apps such as Headspace and Calm have allowed the benefits of mindfulness to be accessible to mainstream users.” At the same time, the movement in hardware delivery solutions is personalization. Consumers are looking for personalized solutions, putting them in the driver’s seat when it comes to what they put on their skin, for instance.
Brigitte established Family Self Care at the juncture of accessibility and personalization. After 3 years of intensive research and multiple patent submissions, her startup developed SelfCare1® – an app and device platform that guides consumers and personalizes daily delivery of essential oils in calibrated individual doses in an eco-friendly way. The platform works with smart long-duration pre-filled oil cartridges that can cover a broad spectrum of programs, hundreds of uses and multiple users without handling any oils. The first cartridge – Daily Wellness – enables 47 programs ranging from stress to sleep, digestion and skin, with just 8 oils. “Essential oils are the most concentrated form of plant extracts which deliver natural wellness and have been shown to be effective in helping with a multitude of our current common complaints.” The company’s powerful and tested algorithms enable optimization of the remaining oils available in the Selfcare1® oil cartridge.
Brigitte sees the SelfCare1®, as disrupting essential oil usage and wellness the way Apple Watch has disrupted its own category. After all, nothing disruptive or innovative has happened to essential oils despite being used for more than 4,000 years
According to Brigitte, preventative healthcare is not easy to demonstrate as clinical trials are built for the standard medical industry which is about analyzing a risk or benefit calculation. “With prevention, the risk is often poor or zero and the proof of benefits are not obvious. That is why feedback data comes with volumetric app usage.” As for Family Self Care, the complexity is that their tech solution is linked with the use of natural molecules for which clinical data are not well developed. Initial tests on essential oils have been performed and are referenced by the NIH, National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic though more testing needs to be done. “In the case of using essential oils, many more experienced users aren’t comfortable with mixing technology, dosing and their established use and some younger users see them more as a natural air freshener than as a preventive wellness solution,” states Brigitte.
Moreover, barriers to use of essential oils have been the stories of wrong dosage which has led to skin rashes and other ills. Instructions from essential oil vendors have been delivered through a combination of explanations on folded paper inserts and on-line recipes. “A misreading or misunderstanding by a consumer can lead to problems or simply seeing these natural solutions as overly complicated to administer.” However, precise hardware and software technology allows for choice based on personalized need, exact measurement, and delivery. Focusing on product excellence, the smart connected Selfcare1® cartridge reveals permanent transparency on the sourcing of pure oils and the quality of supply. And this has been their key success factor. Besides that, “Mastering resources and timing is what makes us win or lose the race. We always believe that we are quicker and more motivated than anybody else in our product area,” ends Brigitte.