After seven years of misdiagnosis, Babson College student Emily Levy was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, the treatment for which required a peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC) line in her arm for long-term antibiotics treatment. Sick of wearing a sock on her arm to protect the line, Levy founded PICCPerfect™ and began to manufacture her own sanitary, safe, and stylish PICC protectors right here in the USA.
After traveling to Rwanda following her freshmen year, Levy created the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC) Women’s Leadership Scholarship to help send underprivileged female leaders to high school in Rwanda. In her free time, the Babson Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Scholar enjoys going to the beach and playing with her siblings and niece. As Levy says (or Tweets) it, her continuing mission in life is to turn #LymeintoLemonAid.
How do you define your venture?
We are a social for-profit venture with a mission to add confidence to the lives of chronic illness patients. Our first product is a fashionable, functional PICC line cover.
We are also creating a chronic illness community though our blog #LymeintoLemonAid. Patients share their stories of diagnosis that include some hardships, some optimism and a whole lot of inspiration.
What gave you the idea?
I had a PICC line put in my arm for six months to treat my Severe Chronic Lyme Disease. I tried a number of PICC line protectors on the market, but most did not work as advertised and were frankly unattractive. I did research with 100 other PICC users and found that most of them agreed. After resolving to use a sock for a while, I decided it was time to create my own way and to make a difference for others who have PICC lines.
PICCPerfect™ provides safe, sanitary, and stylish protective covers for all medical conditions that require a PICC line. My team and I created it to help people with PICC lines have that extra confidence boost while going through treatment.
Who is your customer base or demographic?
Our demographic includes adults and young adults worldwide treated with PICC and Mid lines. Last year, 2 million PICC lines were inserted in the US and this number is expected to grow due to increased health services.
How do you hope to fit into the market?
We are starting to build a community with chronic illness patients who are active on social media. We are engaging with them and getting them to share their stories on our blog and to refer their friends to us. After we spread awareness, we will sell our covers on our website and through partnerships with medical care companies. In the future, we hope to expand to include other medical accessories.
What do you most need to be a success?
We need to sell our product through outlets such as vascular centers, home infusion companies, and hospitals in order to reach the right customers and help them make the best of difficult situations.
This interview is part of Matt Robinson’s continuing set of Jewish and Israeli entrepreneur features. Please look for it on Sundays and suggest subjects. Todah!