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Entrepreneur's Guide

“Vivalle” – Online Medical Service for Menopause
Compassionate Care for Women’s Mental and Physical Health

HerLifeLab Co., Ltd.

Dr. Olga Elisseeva

Mar 29th,2024 publication date

There has been a noticeable increase in Femtech products and services related to menstruation and pregnancy. But what about menopause care?
Olga Elisseeva, CEO of HerLifeLab Co., Ltd., with a Ph.D. from OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology), realized that Japanese society was not adequately addressing menopausal women’s needs through her experience with severe menopausal symptoms.
She launched the menopause online medical service “Vivalle,” sending a message to women not to endure their symptoms. We interviewed her about her entrepreneurship background and her plans for the future.

What is the online service ‘Vibael’ that’s targeting menopausal women?

In May 2022, Elisseeva co-founded HerLifeLab Co., Ltd. with two other founders.

The company aims to “scientifically embrace the ‘heart’ and study the ‘body.’”

The business focuses on providing specialized online gynecological services for menopausal women through “Vibael,” addressing the inadequate attention given to women’s aging care worldwide.

“Unlike puberty, pregnancy, and the parenting phase, there is less interest in menopausal women,” Elisseeva points out. Through Vibael, women can better understand their bodies and receive treatment combining Western and Eastern medicine.

Interviewing Olga Elisseeva

Examining 30-40 women per month

The symptoms of menopause vary widely, including hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, shoulder and headache. Thus, it is necessary to make careful diagnosis and tailor the treatment for each individual. 

Vivalle provides fully personalized medical care, counseling from menopause practitioners, including Elisseeva, and examinations conducted by OB-GYN Dr. Naoko Takamiyagi. Around 30 to 40 women rely on Vivalle for consultations per month.

Elisseeva emphasizes, “The unique feature of Vivalle is the ability to provide individual consultations tailored to each person’s physical condition and symptoms. We offer various treatment options by incorporating Eastern and Western medicine.”

Appointments can be easily made online, consultations can be conducted remotely, and prescribed medications are delivered to the home, ensuring that women can receive support anywhere.

Women often prioritize themselves last

Elisseeva, who responded to the interview in fluent Japanese, hails from Belarus. After graduating from the National Medical University of Belarus, she worked as a physician at the National Institute of Hematology. Feeling the limitations of healthcare at the time due to the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear power plant accident, she changed her career path and became a researcher. Through a connection with Japanese physicians visiting Belarus from Japan, she came to Japan in 1996 and started her new life. 

At that time, she couldn’t speak Japanese but could converse in about a year by listening to her Japanese coworkers at the Osaka University’s research institute where she worked.

“As my peers were mostly males from the Kansai region, I spoke very masculine and rough Japanese. Because of that, I’ve had some embarrassing moments!” Elisseeva laughs. She is a cheerful and charming person.

While raising two sons and a daughter, she moved to Okinawa in 2012 to work at OIST and the National Research and Development Agency (RIKEN) to research cancer immunology. Her career as a researcher seemed to be going smoothly until severe menopausal symptoms hit her.

“I had severe hot flashes, but there were no hospitals that could provide an effective diagnosis. It wasn’t until the third one that I finally met a trustworthy doctor. I remember feeling relieved at that time,” said Elisseeva.

She felt distressed and frustrated by the lack of adequate support for the careers and lifestyles of menopausal women. This piqued her interest in launching a startup for these women.

Acceptance into OIST and meeting Dr. Takamiyagi

Elisseeva developed her business plans by conducting surveys of women around her to understand the symptoms they were experiencing. Through the surveys, she realized that women were enduring symptoms more than she had imagined.

“There is limited research on menopause, and it is not widely covered in the media. The reality is that women are expected to endure the symptoms,” she explained.

As soon as the idea for the service and the determination to start the business solidified, a series of events pushed her forward.

“There is a line in my favorite book, ‘The Alchemist’ that goes, ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ At that time, I truly felt like that. I was accepted into the OIST Accelerator Program, and met my business partner Dr. Takamiyagi and Kyoko Otsuka, who is knowledgeable about investing in startups. It was as if a typhoon suddenly boosted the business preparations,” recounts Elisseeva, reflecting on the sequence of events.

From left: Dr. Takamiyagi, Elisseeva, and Kyoto Otsuka (image from PR TIMES)

In December 2023, they raised ¥60 million in seed funding. They aim to secure more doctors and provide a broader range of treatments. It seems they are quite busy, as even on the interview day, they were caught up in last-minute preparations for a Femtech event.

When asked, “How are you? Are you able to take a breather?” she smiled, “Yes, that’s right. While I tell everyone to take breaks during consultations, I often overlook my rest. I need to be extra careful about managing my health and that of my team members.”

The company’s medical team comprises doctors, nurses, and midwives who deal with women’s health issues at a gynecological hospital. Within the company, they strive to be role models for working women, emphasizing the importance of sharing and supporting each other when experiencing health issues.

“There was a patient who couldn’t bring herself to tell her subordinates about her poor health. When our employees questioned her, ‘Do you want your subordinates to endure symptoms like you do? Why not honestly communicate your situation and seek help?’ her expression completely changed by the next consultation, and her health improved significantly. It starts with sharing information with your peers. Asking for help is essential,” explained Eliseva, emphasizing the importance of self-care, which women often tend to overlook.

Finally, I asked her what she wished to share with her fellow hard-working women.

What I want to convey to menopausal women

“What I want to convey is that while there’s a lot of information on the internet, many women cannot apply it to themselves and end up enduring the symptoms. For example, they prioritize their children, husbands, and parents and forget about themselves. I want them to take a moment to reflect on themselves. While there may be times when we need to adjust to society, it’s okay not always to hold it in. When you feel unwell, take a break and understand your body and mind. We hope Vivalle can become a catalyst to support you as you work hard at your job and family.”

In the future, she hopes to establish a health center for women’s health care in Okinawa. She is eager to continue her unwavering commitment to tackling menopausal care collaborating with dependable doctors and researchers. 

Interview and Text by Kana Inafuku

Vivalle’s official website:▶️

HerLifeLab Co., Ltd.

Date of Establishment
May 2022
Capital stock
Dr. Olga Elisseeva
Menopause Online Medical Service "Vivalle"
Head Office Location
OIST Innovation Square Incubator 1919-1 Ya-ja, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa

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