The SheEO Spotlight Series showcases the talent and radical generosity of the SheEO Community, one entrepreneur at a time.
Meet Jessica Ching!
Jessica Ching is an industrial designer who is passionate about bridging the gap between medical technology and patient experience. As the Co-Founder of startup Eve Medical, she and her team are dedicated to meeting specific healthcare needs of women through innovative product design. What started as a conversation she had with a group of friends about the awkward nature of Pap tests sparked her mission to increase STI screening rates among women. Here, we chat with Jessica about her design background, her upcoming crowdfunding campaign on June 1st, and her desire to positively change healthcare.
What first inspired you to enter the entrepreneurial world and to create Eve Medical?
I studied Industrial Design at OCAD University in Toronto, and was interested in how design could impact healthcare. While I was a student in the design program, a partner and I completed an eight month research project on cervical cancer screening. Our project was motivated by how a third of women don’t screen for cervical cancer, even though the testing is life-saving and totally free. It takes about ten years for the cancer to fully develop, so there is lots of time for screening and prevention. No one should be dying from cervical cancer because of this, but many still do. As designers, my partner and I decided to focus our research efforts on identifying the negative aspects of the cervical cancer testing experience that had compelled women not to go through with it.
At the end of our research, we came to the conclusion that it’s not that women don’t want to take care of their health, because they do. However, there are a lot of barriers that prevent them from getting to a clinic. Mundane barriers such a lack of time, transportation, family doctor, and childcare stack up, and result in women putting off screening. By the time that a woman begins showing symptoms of cervical cancer, it’s often too late - it’s progressed enough that what was easily preventable becomes more difficult to treat.
What initially compelled you to pursue research and project development in the sector of women's healthcare?
My pursuits were actually sparked by a conversation that I had with a group of my female friends over coffee. At that time I was already interested in both design and health care because I think that a lot of health care could be improved through good design. We started talking about Pap tests during our conversation, and I learned how quite a few of my friends never had one because of the test’s awkward nature. This was a problem, and I was frustrated with how the testing experience was putting people off. I thought that it didn’t have to be this way, and I was motivated to fix the problem.
And so your desire to solve the problem of the high number of women not testing for cervical cancer motivated you to start Eve Medical. How has your mission developed throughout the life of the company?
Ever since we created Eve Medical in 2010, we’ve retained the core desire to make it easier for people to take care of themselves, especially in our particular domain of women’s reproductive health. Through the company’s evolution, the wording of our mission has slightly changed to reflect our different stages of growth. However, we have maintained our fundamental desire to change health care through well designed patient experiences.
What are you excited about in your work right now with Eve Medical?
I am firstly very excited about our upcoming crowdfunding campaign that is taking place on June 1. With the campaign, we are pre-launching a product called “Eve Kit,” an at-home testing service that women would be able to order online and have sent directly to their homes. These kits allow women to screen themselves for HPV and other STIs such as chlamydia from the comfort of their homes. Our method provides a convenient and private form of testing that lowers some of the barriers that keep women from screening regularly.
I am also very excited to continue seeing the fruition of all of our work. It’s rewarding to now be able to put our product out there and invite people to use it!
As your business continues to flourish, where do you personally draw inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from different places. For one, I find that having a peer group can be a source of both inspiration and knowledge. SheEO is a great example of this, as it is an amazing network of women who are trying to solve problems like I am. I first became involved with SheEO at its early stages, and it’s been amazing to see how it continues to expand!
Women themselves are also sources of inspiration for me. I do talk with women who’ve suffered from the conditions we’re trying to prevent at Eve Medical. Sometimes if I am presenting somewhere, women who I’ve never met before will tell me about a very personal experience they’ve had with cervical cancer or pre-cancer. Those kinds of interactions are very moving, and I am motivated by knowing that we are trying to solve real-world problems that are important to people.
Anna Wolle is an intern with SheEO, and a rising junior studying philosophy and French at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and abroad in Paris, France. You can email her at [email protected]
Hello SheEO Activators!
My Ask? Please support our Indiegogo campaign starting June 1st at evekit.com by joining our community, getting a kit, or sharing our campaign with others! We are also looking for any connections to media that could help amplify our story and mission. Thank you SheEOs!!
And my Give? Any experience we have in starting and developing Eve Medical. Particular expertise in developing medical devices, and bringing products to market in the healthcare space. I’m also happy to share our learnings so far from running our first crowdfunding campaign!