Hospitals & Facilities

Modern Age CEO Melissa Eamer on aging well

The ex-Amazon and Glossier exec is looking to demystify the aging process.
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Founder and CEO Melissa Eamer. Modern Age

· 5 min read

If the pandemic didn’t make us cognizant of our own mortality, Zoom certainly did.

Melissa Eamer, the founder and CEO of healthcare company Modern Age, wants to give people more control over how quickly and well they age. The ex-Amazon exec has taken a digital-first approach to care (while also offering in-person clinics designed by Glossier’s architectural designer).

Eamer sat down with Healthcare Brew to talk all things aging, from the services offered at Modern Age’s two New York City clinics to the problems she’s looking to solve.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Modern Age focuses on aging, which seems niche. How do you see your company standing out in the market?

It’s something that slips through the cracks in the traditional system today because we have so many amazing specialists, but we have no one that says, “These things are all really connected, and they work together in a really important way.” Some of this is my own experience. I have an endocrinologist, I have a rheumatologist, I have a primary care [doctor], I have an ob-gyn, and none of them seem to talk to each other. What we’re trying to do is say, “Hey, let’s bring that expertise and those clinicians under one roof, whether that’s a digital roof or physical roof,” and have them have that same conversation.

Walk me through the process. What are you looking for when patients come for treatment?

During the aging wellness assessment, we do a blood draw and bone scan on site, and then we send out to an external lab and then review the results with folks when they come back. We offer [at-home blood tests] as well. It all ties back to that consumer orientation: How do you make the healthcare experience both more informative and more convenient? At home is definitely more convenient for some folks, rather than going to their clinician twice. But then I think consumers feel more empowered to take more control over their journey today. And I think maybe the last two and a half years have really helped to drive this forward. [Customers are thinking], “I’m not going to rely on the person in that white coat to tell me everything I need to know. I want the information myself.”

It really is very personalized, depending on the symptoms or issues that people are trying to deal with. Some of the most impactful [metrics] that I’ve seen so far are hormone replacement biomarkers. I think many women are unaware that testosterone is a very important hormone for them, and has a real impact on not just libido, but also things like anxiety and muscle strength, which is really important as we age. There’s also a set of inflammation biomarkers, and inflammation is kind of this thing that’s simmering under the surface but really can impact your overall health and well-being.

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How are you positioning Modern Age amid the public’s growing mistrust of the medical industry?

It’s such a good question, particularly in the longevity space, where I think there’s a lot of overpromising going on. What we’re trying to do is be really straightforward in terms of what we offer, and really help customers understand the trade-off and the cost-benefit analysis for them.

Wellness can mean almost anything these days. What we’re really trying to do is walk that line. We are a clinic. We do have medical doctors prescribing and treating you. But it doesn’t have to mean [sitting on] a cold steel table on a paper covering. You can have that experience in something that does feel relaxing and trustworthy.

Tell me a little bit more about your customer base and how you’re thinking about digital to convert customers?

This is the Amazonian in me. There’s a viable virtual path, and there are many consumers out there who want that convenience and want that connection through a computer versus in person. Not all of our treatments, obviously, [can be done online]. A lot of our early customers are seeing the clinic and walking in, so they’re becoming aware of us through the physical spaces. There’s also something about credibility and trust, seeing doctors in real life. There are some customers who want to transact with us digitally. Some will only want to be in person, but we’re seeing a good number of people who want to be both.

Our customers [in the Flatiron location] are largely people ages 35–50, which is great. I wasn’t sure how ready people were to talk about aging in their 30s and 40s. Turns out they’re ready for guidance, and they’re ready for advice, and they’re ready to get started.

What else is on the horizon?

In 2023, we will continue to expand into the categories of health that impact how we age— particularly those [health categories] that we feel are underserved today. As an example, in the past few months, we expanded into treatments for sexual health and urinary incontinence. Both of these categories are impacted by aging, affect a large percentage of the population, and are often overlooked by the traditional healthcare system.

Do you anticipate doing any clinical trials or studies based on the research you’re collecting?

We’d love to do that. [I think we will do that] when we have data, especially on how connected these issues are, because that holistic approach is our vision and our promise. We’re really eager to see how we can help people over the course of time.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.