Cancer changes a person. In addition to the physical reminders, it leaves behind, cancer transforms us into people who understand more deeply, hope for more, and live more passionately.
OneVillage, founded in October 2020, is the world’s first and only marketplace for cancer patients and supporters to find a curated, medically approved selection of everything they need before, during and after treatment.
The platform centers around a personalized checklist which learns from self-reported information to provide the user with a micro-drip of recommended content and tools on the site that fit into a step-by-step guide for navigating care.
OneVillage Key Highlights
The WishList allows patients or their designee to register for hard-to-find specialty items, such as wigs or scarves, as well as on-demand services that make life easier, such as ride-share credit, grocery delivery, cancer coaching services, or prepared meals.
Everyone has supporters who want to help, most just don’t know what to do!
Public and Private Villages
Private Villages are set up by the patient or their designee and allow patients to coordinate with and update friends and family in one place through a social interface.
Public Villages are live community chat groups and forums segmented across a variety of special interests such as Parents with Cancer, Metavivors, and Supporter Support Groups.
Digital Care Tools
Take the guesswork out of managing symptoms, organizing questions for the doctor, or keeping your appointments organized with digitized tools designed by patients and approved by doctors.
Insurance Benefit Finder
Fill in your employer or insurance provider and they’ll supply a list of free benefits that you already qualify for, but may or may not be using.
Many users find that they already have access to benefits like genetic testing, mental healthcare, and at-home prescription delivery that, in combination with care from the patient’s oncologist, can help make outcomes better.
Who is the Muscle Behind OneVillage?
OneVillage was founded by Ashley Yesayan. A former venture capital investor who recognized the need for a structured, community-based approach to patient support during her journey from cancer diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
By providing friends and loved ones with the proper tools and guidance, OneVillage helps patients to focus on their health and mental well-being by enabling their loved ones to communicate, coordinate and deliver the best support possible.Ashlet Yesayan – Founder of OneVillage
At the age of 35, she was diagnosed with a severe and invasive type of breast cancer.
When she was not examining her prognosis without weighing her mortality or morbidity from treatment, she worked as a consumer-tech focused venture capitalist at Revolution in Washington, DC.
At Revolution, her investment teams and herself helped invest billions of dollars in consumer-facing tech that adds choice, control, and convenience to everything. However, when she found herself looking for resources to help navigate diagnosed with cancer, she was surprised to find that there are so few of them.
Her industry knowledge of company formation and growth, customer acquisition marketing, finance, venture capital, and data protection, combined with her personal experience as a cancer patient seeking this answer, gives her a distinct advantage as a founder in this area.
What Every Cancer Patient is Looking For?
Although the number of people in the US going through cancer treatment every year (6 million) is actually larger than the number of weddings (2.5 million) or the number of babies born every year (4 million), a sizeable gap exists in the tech-enabled resources available to these demographics.
Unlike the multi-billion dollar industries that have been built around making weddings and babies easier to navigate, online resources don’t exist for cancer outside of some light online content and fragmented eCommerce alternatives.
This leads most institutional knowledge sharing to occur through 1:1 interactions between patient: survivor and patient: patient coordinator today.
The 1:1 patient: survivor exchange isn’t scalable or efficient for numerous reasons (and is further complicated during the current pandemic), nor is it particularly advantageous to the patient who must identify these people from within his or her network, which is oftentimes ineffective or awkward.
The 1:1 patient: patient coordinator relationship is the substitute that exists today for a portion of what OneVillage will provide.
Patient coordinators are not found at all hospitals and they typically are managing hundreds of patients at once, so they aren’t guaranteed to be able to provide the right information at the right time to the right patient.
Most importantly, neither current mechanism provides a scalable way to activate the patient’s support network of an average of 20-30 friends and family members, all of whom want to help but usually don’t know-how.
Through their personalized checklist-based approach they provide education and actionable recommendations on ways to be helpful.
By providing friends and loved ones with the proper tools and guidance, OneVillage helps patients to focus on their health and mental well-being and enables their loved ones to communicate, coordinate and deliver the best support possible.
How Does OneVillage Help Consumers?
A cancer diagnosis is an unexpected and truly unsettling life event, so non-medical needs, such as specialized products and services to help with daily life, are often not known to patients or other caregivers.
This is important because a lot of mental and physical energy is expended in focusing on the medical problems and decisions that need to be made in this area.
The lack of online solutions like OneVillage makes it unnecessarily difficult to get the services you need at a time when patients and caregivers are particularly vulnerable.
OneVillage found that only 8% of respondents said they could meet all of their needs with the resources available. The remaining 92% reported that they regularly experience fear, anxiety, stress, frustration, and depression, which is not the ideal state for healing and recovery.
Research shows that 20% of cancer survivors suffer from what may become life-long PTSD as a result of their trials. Current solutions are not providing people with the support they need in their day-to-day life and are not providing their communities with resources that could be more useful.
OneVillage helps patients focus on their health and well-being by making it easier for them and their supporters to access related services and support.
It also allows loved ones to communicate, coordinate and provide the best possible care.
What Impact is OneVillage Making Today?
Although OneVillage is still in their early stages, they are already making an impact.
Jonny, a stage IV colorectal cancer patient that began using OneVillage alongside a new immunotherapy treatment found their symptom tracking tools very helpful with communicating his individual side effects to his doctor.
He finds community an extremely important part of his overall care plan.
When exploring OneVillage, Jonny felt most supported by the Real Life Stories on OneVillage’s platform and the community feature. He plans to lead his network of writers that found healing in writing about their cancer experience.
Jonny’s experience has helped highlight the importance of digitising healthcare and the significance of a digitized toolbox for patients and caregivers.
Our ability to connect patients, survivors and caregivers with others that have similar interests to them, beyond just their diagnosis, means our community feels connected to real people like them.Ashlet Yesayan – Founder of OneVillage
A Venture Capital-Backed Firm Planning to Change the Lives of Millions Over the Next 5 Years
OneVillage has been backed by Third Prime, Gaingels, Gaven Capital, Gula Tech and Techstar and has successfully raised a total of $1.3million in pre-seed financing.
One Village’s goal is to educate, support and inspire the 6 million cancer patients who are cured of cancer in the United States each year.
Additionally, they aim to mobilize the communities around them to provide meaningful care similar ideas on a global scale to help people cope with all the contingencies that change their lives.
Today, OneVillage is a community-based cancer treatment solution in the United States.
As they grow, they plan to expand globally and address other chronic conditions when patients and their supporters need help with their new life circumstances. Parkinson’s disease and diabetes are on the short-term agenda.