A joint program between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel
Call for Application 2022 Opening soon!
Next Roadshow November 17th
Program Duration 9 months
December 17, 2021

A new solution that cares about your core

Yonicore, or the holistic solution for pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Yonicore is a femtech start-up developing individual solutions for women’s pelvic floor dysfunctions. It is a wearable device that offers women an immediate physical solution, which is non-invasive and can be a substitute for surgery.

It was a few years ago while Yair Kira, CEO of Yonicore, was working in the healthcare industry when he realized the importance of finding innovative solutions for women’s pelvic floor disorders. It all started during a discussion with his mother asking him, for his professional knowledge, if he could find a good solution for her, so she doesn’t have to go through surgery. While searching for the best solution for his mom, Yair learned that this is actually a problem that 50% of women face during their lifetime. After finding no real satisfying solution, he decided to develop one himself.

The innovative solution of combining immediate support and long-term treatment is great news for women, especially for two main groups: postpartum women and women approaching menopause. The aim of YoniCore is not just to treat patients but also to prevent symptoms that may later develop if they are not treated. With the help of his partners, Hugo Silva, an industrial designer with expertise in individualized devices, and Linda Wonneberger, a serial entrepreneur that for years had been challenging the status quo of the female’s health market; the journey of Yonicore started.

Digital health is growing rapidly in the last few years and YoniCore is developed to meet these changes in the market. “We use to think that men are more interested in technology, but this is not true anymore and we see that women are much more engaged when it comes to health and new digital solutions'' explains Yair, "Women are challenging today the products offered for them and searching for better solutions that align with their wishes or believes. If we take the example of menstruation cups, women have understood that tampons can have harmful effects on their bodies and nevertheless on the environment. We believe that there is a whole generation of women who will be open to using silicone products such as Yonicore as their first and best solution.

Think of it like this: Yonicore is like a bra for your pelvic organs that keeps them in a healthy position."

Indeed, it is just as natural as going for a jog with a sports bra. Yonicore addresses these trends to help women focus on their health and abilities instead of worrying about what doesn’t work as they expected. “For Yonicore'', says Yair, “the psychological aspect is just as important as the physical aspect and we support women and empower them to take their health into their own hands. Our future clients are women at the top of their careers and our mission is to help them stay on top of their game!”

Breaking taboos or normalizing conversations around them?

Like many other problems women face, unfortunately, urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunctions are still taboos in the twenty-first century. This taboo is found both in the general public and also between women themselves. Many women are not being told about challenges that might occur after giving birth or due to hormonal changes during pre- and post-menopause.

Moreover, the literature shows that there is also a gap of knowledge by health practitioners and not just patients. There are still doctors today telling their patients that urine loss problems are normal after having a few children, as this is a situation they just have to live with. But with better access to knowledge, nowadays, women want to take care of their health by learning more about their body and searching for better treatments. Women are becoming more demanding towards health providers and sometimes even more knowledgeable.” explains Yair Kira. “You can see the change in the doctor-patient relationships in recent years. Indeed, in the past doctors were the figure of knowledge, and whatever they would suggest would never be questioned. But nowadays, women have much more access to knowledge through blogs, online peer groups, and “Dr. Google''. Women go today to their doctor with solutions they heard about and can consult several doctors before they decide what is the best solution for them. In the end, no one knows better about their body than themselves, and I’m happy for this change” Yair adds.

The lack of knowledge and the taboos are a big challenge that Yonicore and FemTech, in general, have to face. The stigmas associated with pelvic floor disorder influence how patients behave as well as their decisions. Women have to know more about noninvasive alternatives that they have before being sent to the operation room.

According to Yair, “The more we know about women’s health the more this industry will grow. Pelvic floor dysfunction should not only be taken seriously by women,” Yair adds, “as a man, I also started my life inside my mother’s pelvic floor. We all did. Therefore it is an equally relevant problem for all genders. Each one of us knows a person, mother, sister, partner, or friend who probably experiences this. Frankly speaking, the problems my mother is facing with her pelvic floor are probably due to my birth. So the minimum I can do is to care about it."

By working together, men and women, to break this taboo and shame, it will be possible to offer better treatments and better quality of life for everybody. “Men have to understand the obvious and not be afraid to ask and talk about these topics. Even from an egoistic point of view, a healthy pelvic floor of their partners means better quality of life for themselves”, adds Yair ironically. YoniCore sees this as a topic for all genders and aims to break the taboos and normalize the discussions around it.

More information on the website: YoniCore.com

What about Tech4Eva?

For the FemTech Start-up Yonicore, Tech4Eva appears to be extremely valuable. “We are fortunate to acquire knowledge from professionals and experienced mentors. Nevertheless, it allows us to expand our network and meet other start-ups in this program which is the most valuable asset for us. We exchange many ideas, and we find it beneficial to work together because we learn a lot from one another.” declares Yair. Since FemTech is an emerging market with huge potential, there is a place for everyone and this was the feeling during the Tech4Eva program. “We see the other startups as alias rather than competitors and already talk about synergies between us. We know that together we can act as multipliers and create a meaningful shift in the health industry making it more effective, more equal, and most important respectful towards women.”