MyBCTeam Reaches 15,000 Members and Opens its Doors to Women Outside the US

San Francisco, CA  February 17, 2015

MyBCTeam, the social network dedicated to women diagnosed with breast cancer announced that more than 15,000 women have become members on the network. Based on its rapid growth and success in the United States, MyBCTeam also opened its doors to seven countries outside the United States this past December.

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According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, globally, breast cancer now represents one in four of all cancers in women.

“Every week we receive emails from women around the world asking us to open MyBCTeam in their country. There’s massive pent-up demand in the breast cancer community for a network that makes it easy connect with others going through the same experience,” says Mary Ray, co-founder and COO of MyHealthTeams, Inc., the San Francisco-based company that created MyBCTeam.

“Technology is making it possible for women around the world to provide emotional support and practical advice,” says Ray. “Advice such as what family-planning questions to ask your doctor before beginning chemotherapy, or even something related to self-image like, ‘What’s the best way to wear a wig that looks most natural?’”

As with all of MyHealthTeams’ social networks, MyBCTeam is free and available as a mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. Women diagnosed with breast cancer can find it at http://www.MyBCTeam.com.
For all inquiries, please contact Press@MyHealthTeams.com.

MyHealthTeams Raises $3.36 MM to Accelerate Growth of Social Networks for Chronic Disease Communities

Today, MyHealthTeams raised $3.36 MM in our Series A round of financing.  Our small team has made incredible progress in the past two years and now it’s time to expand.  Today we have three fast-growing social networks that are making a huge positive impact in the lives of people facing multiple sclerosis, breast cancer and autism (more below).  Five years from now, if you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition (like 1 in 2 Americans are today), our hope is that your doctor, or another person with the same condition, will tell you about a MyHealthTeams social network. (We plan to launch about 100 of them.)  The proceeds from our Series A will help us expand our team and accelerate the rate at which we launch new social networks right away.

The Series A was led by the Westly Group, a fantastic group of VC’s on Sand Hill Road with a track record of investing in growth companies that tackle the world’s most pressing problems.  Adams Street Partners, who led our $1.75MM seed round back in the summer of 2012, also participated in the Series A as did many of our other seed-round investors including 500 Startups, HealthTechCapital, Sand Hill Angels, TEEC, and several notable individual investors.   Gary Dillabough from the Westly Group will be joining Mike Lynn, M.D. of Adams Street, and myself on our Board of Directors, with two more board directors to be named.

Our Mission and Our Accomplishments

We’ve accomplished quite a bit in the past two years, and it has all been based on one simple mission.  We believe that if you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition or disease, it should be easy to find the best people around to help you.  Ask anyone facing a chronic condition and they will tell you it is anything but “easy”.  They will say that most health websites don’t actually help them connect with and learn from others who have “been in their shoes”, and that they feel like they are “re-inventing the wheel”.  To solve that problem, we build social networks for specific chronic conditions that look a lot more like Facebook, Yelp and Quora, than they do your typical health website.   The results have been reflected in our viral growth and high engagement.

We started in June of 2011 with the launch of MyAutismTeam – a wonderfully supportive social network for parents of kids with autism.  We launched with just 35 parents in California, but today have more than 52,000 registered parents from all across North America.   User engagement was strong from the very beginning and nearly half of all interactions take place on a mobile device.  We were embraced by Autism Speaks, Easter Seals, the US Autism & Aspergers Society, and TACA amongst other great foundations, and even had our 4 minutes of fame on the Today Show back in April.   Ever since then, we have been bombarded with requests to launch MyHealthTeams networks for a wide range of chronic conditions and diseases.  We built a platform to enable us to launch new social networks for both the web and mobile quickly and in a scalable way.

We then launched two more social networks;  MyBCTeam –  designed specifically for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and MyMSTeam (our most recent and fastest growing network) –  for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  Whereas the typical editorially-driven health web site and condition discussion-forums have relatively low engagement, user engagement on the three MyHealthTeams social networks has been exceptionally strong.  The percentage of registered members on MyMSTeam and MyBCTeam who are monthly active users is north of 50%!  This tells us know we are filling an important role in the day-to-day lives of people facing these chronic conditions.

Our Business Model

When it comes to making money and keeping all our social networks free for our users we have two important rules.  First, we will only seek out opportunities that will empower our users (we would never sell their personally identifying information, nor would we ever spam them with irrelevant ads).  Second, we must be able to be completely transparent with our users.   If we follow those two simple rules, we believe that our revenue models will become one more reason why people join our social networks.    For instance, 85% of MyMSTeam members who responded to our recent survey told us that they would like greater access to clinical trials and that they’d like us to notify them of clinical trials that are relevant to them.   We went looking and found that most pharma companies struggle when it comes to recruiting patients for clinical trials – a problem which only slows down the process of bringing new therapies to our users.

So we partnered with them.

Again, we will never share our members’ personally identifying information with anyone.   In December we signed a partnership with a leader in the MS space whereby they tell us the specific inclusion criteria for their upcoming clinical trial, and we then notify the members in our network who might actually benefit from this trial.  It’s then totally up to our users to determine if they want to learn more about the trial and if they want to contact the folks conducting it.   This is a process that should take a couple of weeks rather than the 6-12 months typical of clinical trial recruitment.  People dealing with actual chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, autism, Crohn’s Diease, Lupus, Diabetes and so many others, should have much greater access to clinical trials and we can help make that happen.

In the next 18 months companies like MyHealthTeams will help people with chronic conditions have a much greater voice in the way therapies are developed, clinical trials are designed and conducted, and new therapies are brought to market and explained to them.   Down the road, as we grow and users share their experiences and wisdom, we are seeing a number of opportunities to leverage that data to help describe likely treatment paths and predict outcomes so that our users can improve their lives.  We are convinced that our social networks can not only help improve patient health outcomes, but also lower health care costs.

We have a lot of work ahead of us to achieve these goals, but count ourselves lucky to be working on something so important and fulfilling.

-Eric

MyHealthTeams Survey Finds That State Lines Do Not Impact Where Americans with Pre-Existing Chronic Conditions Seek ObamaCare Information

More than 60% of Americans with a Chronic Health Condition Do Not Think ObamaCare Will Impact the Cost or Amount of Their Insurance Coverage or Costs

 

San Francisco, CA – October 17, 2013 – MyHealthTeams, the San Francisco-based company that creates social networks for chronic condition communities, today announced results of a new survey of more than 500 people living with and caring for those with a pre-existing chronic condition.  The survey results revealed that more than 60% of those living with a chronic health condition do not think the implementation of health exchanges will impact their insurance coverage or costs.

Regardless of state lines, participants with chronic conditions identified the same top three sources which they would turn to for more information regarding the health exchange: Google Search, ObamaCare Navigators, and disease-specific social networks.

One-third of respondents are unsure of how the Affordable Care Act will impact the treatment they receive for their condition. That said, those from Red States are more likely to turn to Google Search for answers to their health exchange questions, while those from blue states are more likely to turn to ObamaCare Navigators. No matter the state (red or blue), 25% of respondents feel they can turn to chronic condition peer social networks such as MyMSTeam (for those living with MS), MyAutismTeam (for parents of individuals with autism) or MyBCTeam (for women facing breast cancer) for answers from those who share their condition. Many also answered they would turn to their HR departments for more information.  And while peer social networks for chronic conditions were popular, noticeably under represented from the places people would turn for more information about ObamaCare were Facebook and Twitter.

 

Where Blue States Seek More Information on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare):

  • 39% ObamaCare Navigators
  • 36% Google Search
  • 24% MyHealthTeams’ social networks (disease specific social networks)
  • 1% Facebook or Twitter

 

Where Red States Seek More Information on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare):

  • 43% Google Search
  • 26% MyHealthTeams’ social networks (disease specific social networks)
  • 26% ObamaCare Navigators
  • 4% Facebook or Twitter

 

“When you have a chronic condition or disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re from a red state or blue state,” says Eric Peacock, co-founder and CEO of MyHealthTeams.  “You want to talk with other people in the same situation as you, and learn what is working best for them.  People are turning to these communities for more objective, de-politicized advice on how to navigate ObamaCare.”

 About the Survey

MyHealthTeams conducted this online member survey of its three social networks for chronic condition communities (MyMSTeam, MyBCTeam, MyAutismTeam) from October 2 – October 7, 2013, with more than 500 individuals living with and caring for those with a pre-existing chronic condition participating in the survey.

About MyHealthTeams

MyHealthTeams is a San Francisco-based company that creates social networks for chronic condition communities. We believe that when you or a loved one are diagnosed with a disease, it should be easy to connect with people just like you, who can share their experiences, and help you discover the best people around for help. MyHealthTeams’ flagship site, MyAutismTeam, launched in December 2011 and has nearly 50,000 parents of individuals with autism. In September 2012, the company launched MyBCTeam for women facing breast cancer, which has more than 5,000 women on the site. The latest site created by MyHealthTeams is MyMSTeam, designed for those living with multiple sclerosis, which has 8,000 members. To learn more about the full MyHealthTeams network, visit MyHealthTeams.com.

MyBCTeam Keeps Momentum Going With 5,000 Strong

San Francisco, CA, October 2, 2013 – On the heels of its first anniversary, MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer, celebrates its rapidly growing member base of more than 5,000 women.

For women who’ve been newly diagnosed, are in treatment, or post-treatment, MyBCTeam is where women meet other women who’ve been in their shoes.  By finding women just like them who’ve faced breast cancer, and sharing tips and provider referrals, the members of MyBCTeam make true, lasting connections that they draw daily support from throughout their breast cancer journey, and beyond.

To date, there have been more than 70,000 connections made on MyBCTeam.  From frank conversations about everything from sex to chemo brain to radiation burns, the members of MyBCTeam converse openly and honestly about the issues that only those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer understand. MyBCTeam provides the platform that inspires the members to turn those connections into a real time support network.

“Our goal is to give those women facing breast cancer the best possible support experience. That means helping our members connect with women who are not only just like them, but also introduce them to women they didn’t even know they needed to meet.  We help them discover new methods of finding support that is personalized to their needs,” says MyBCTeam co-founder, Mary Ray. “We continue to focus on innovating the ways women get support so that we make that process as easy and effective as possible.”

MyBCTeam Product Features

  • Activity Page: The heartbeat of the site, where members share their daily ups and downs with each other—triumphs are cheered and challenging moments are supported.
  • Meet Others: Members can search for other women by diagnosis (both stage and type) and also by age and location and more.
  • Provider Directory: A searchable directory (by keyword and location) of a variety of providers, submitted by members, specializing in breast cancer treatments.
  • The Team: From oncology radiologist to nutritionist or hair stylist, members build and share their personal team of providers that helped them during and after treatment. Members also add other MyBCTeam women to their team that they find especially supportive.
  • Q & A: A searchable database of questions and answers submitted by the community of MyBCTeam members.
  • Pinboard: A discovery area where members visually share their journey with breast cancer and treatment. Pins include ways members manage their self-image, favorite recipes, family photos, or places they’d like to travel after treatment, among many others.
  • “Hug” Button: The unique “hug” button is used to show empathy and understanding to other members.
  • Mobile App: Members connect to the community wherever they are – a doctor’s waiting room, the chemo chair, at home or on the road. The free, MyBCTeam app is available on iOS andAndroid devices.

Member Highlights

While breast cancer may be the shared experience that brings the members of MyBCTeam together, it is the close relationships and connections that the women form that keep them coming back.  Here’s what they have to say:

“MyBCTeam is an amazing network of women who provide support to one another. For someone who has been through the whole ‘cancer process’, it means a lot to provide support to other women as well,” says 24-year old Justine Egan of Kingston, RI. As for what keeps Egan coming back on a daily basis, she explains, “I get the opportunity to read other women’s stories and see that there is life after this whole cancer mess. Everyone in my life is kind of ‘done’ with talking about my cancer with me at this point. MyBCTeam allows me to discuss all of my emotions without having others judge me for talking about it so much.”
“MyBCTeam means my safety net, my comfort zone.  The warriors of this community are like my sisters!” describes Amy Cliett of Los Angeles, CA. “Because we’ve shared similar experiences on this journey, my feelings are validated and not judged.  I’m understood and it’s a wonderful feeling. But my favorite part of the site is sharing our lives outside of cancer – we all have families, work and daily struggles that are the human aspects of this disease.”

“I started out on MyBCTeam to see if I could help anyone that is going through the same thing that I’ve gone through. And now I believe the network has helped me more than I’ve helped anyone else,” says new mom Kristy Davis of Chicago, IL. “It is so comforting to know that there is an entire community of women that are just going to listen, give you a ‘hug’, and give you the inspiration that you need to push the fears aside and move on.”  

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About MyBCTeam

MyBCTeam is a social network for any woman in the United States that has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer.  MyBCTeam makes it easy for women to find and connect with other women just like them, share tips and support, ask and answer questions, and even find first-hand referrals of great providers and breast cancer specialists.  MyBCTeam was founded in September 2012 and is the second health social network created by MyHealthTeams, a San Francisco-based company, that creates social networks for chronic condition communities.  MyHealthTeams’ flagship site, MyAutismTeam, launched in December 2011 and has nearly 50,000 parents of individuals with autism from across the country. To learn more about the full MyHealthTeams network, visit MyHealthTeams.com.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer And MyBCTeam Announce Partnership

Collaboration unites twenty years of nonprofit service with dynamic social media network

Nonprofit organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) announced today a partnership with MyBCTeam (www.MyBCTeam.com) a new social network for women facing breast cancer. This partnership will link the women of MyBCTeam with LBBC’s extensive resources in an interactive and dynamic community.

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“If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, it should be easy to find the best people and resources around to help you.” says MyBCTeam co-founder Mary Ray.  “LBBC has established itself as one of the country’s most respected breast cancer nonprofit organizations and we’re thrilled to have them as a MyBCTeam partner. Their resources are designed to help women of all ages and stages of breast cancer. When a woman faces breast cancer, she’s looking for not only answers, but also connections – this partnership allows us to offer both.”

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MyBCTeam is a free social network for women facing breast cancer.  Instead of utilizing a networking structure that promotes anonymity, MyBCTeam provides women a safe environment to actually get to know one another and make real, lasting connections. These connections create the foundation of their individual “breast cancer team” – women and providers they personally connect with and recommend. The site was developed by MyHealthTeams, creators of online social networks specifically for people in the United States and Canada with chronic health conditions.

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“The partnership provides the MyBCTeam community direct access to our expert resources,” adds Elyse Spatz Caplan, MA, LBBC’s director of programs and partnerships. “All of us at LBBC are committed to this effort and look forward to reaching even more women. We are excited that this vibrant online community will link women to each other and to vital support and educational information in one place. ”

 

 

About Living Beyond Breast Cancer

For over twenty years, LBBC has been providing educational resources and support services to women affected by breast cancer by empowering them with the information and support they need to make the best and most informed decisions for themselves and their families. National conferences, monthly webinars, regional community meetings, the Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer and a toll-free Survivors’ Helpline are just a few examples of the services that are provided, always at little or no cost. If someone you know has recently been diagnosed, is in treatment, recovery, years beyond their diagnosis or living with metastatic breast cancer, LBBC can help. For more information, visit lbbc.org or call (610) 645-4567.

 

 

About MyBCTeam

MyBCTeam is a social network for any woman in the United States that has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer.  On MyBCTeam is it easy to find and connect with other women just like you, share tips and support, ask and answer questions, and even find first-hand referrals of great providers and breast cancer specialists.  MyBCTeam was founded in September 2012 and was the second health social network created by MyHealthTeams, a San Francisco-based company.   MyHealthTeams makes it easy for people to build an online support network by connecting with one other and discovering the best providers around them.  MyHealthTeams’ flagship site, MyAutismTeam, launched in December 2011 and has over 40,000 registered parents of kids with autism from across the country. To learn more visit them online at MyHealthTeams.