Ex-Amazon and Glossier exec aims to help people live longer, healthier with new startup Modern Age

Melissa Eamer, founder of Modern Age (Modern Age Photo)

Helping people live longer and healthier is personal for Melissa Eamer.

After her mother died at a relatively young age, the former chief operating officer of Glossier became curious about why some people age well and others decline quickly. She had a “lightbulb moment” after discovering the concept of subjective age.

That led to the creation of Modern Age, which is set to launch next year with software providing information and personalized assessment tools related to aging. It uses tech to offer a proactive and holistic approach to health as people age, incorporating telehealth and in-person services.

Subjective age is the idea that people have both a physical age and an age that they feel. Eamer, who spent nearly two decades at Amazon before joining Glossier in 2019, said research shows that those with a lower subjective age tend to live seven to eight years longer.

“That was really powerful, and it sort of resonated with what I had seen with my own family,” Eamer told GeekWire this week. “That’s really the inspiration behind Modern Age: Can you build a digital platform and an in-person treatment center that help people proactively manage all of this?”

The company’s software uses computer vision and machine learning to examine skin, hair and bone health. It can also gather information from FitBit devices or an Apple Watch about daily routines to build a digital record of a person’s health and match them with treatments.

The digital tools help users diagnose issues and navigate solutions to treat them. Along with the software, Modern Age also plans to launch in-person clinics. Eamer said the first would open in New York and expand after that.

Modern Age recently closed a $6 million seed funding round led by Juxtapose, a New York-based venture fund which creates business ideas and partners with experienced executives to fund and grow the business. It has backed other health startups such as care/of and Tend.

Eamer said Modern Age plans to launch in early 2022. Its target market is primarily women between the ages of 35 and 45, but men are impacted by similar aging effects as well.

Modern Age is at the intersection of healthcare in multiple markets, including skin, hair and bone health along with hormone, metabolic, ear and eye health. It also incorporates wellness with fitness, nutrition and community. All of this brings the total addressable market to $120 billion, but Eamer thinks that will rise.

The startup has countless competitors in the wellness and healthcare industry, but Eamer said Modern Age is unique with its mission to help people manage their aging process.

Modern Age employs 12 people and plans to hire its own team of medical professionals.

Eamer’s experiences at Glossier and Amazon, where she was most recently vice president on the Amazon Devices team, both prepared her to launch Modern Age, but in different ways.

Amazon created a strong sense of customer focus and taught her the importance of using technology to make customer experiences easier. At Glossier, Eamer said she recognized the importance of brand building.

Eamer said the effects of aging are at the forefront of customers’ minds, yet they feel they’re stuck and can’t do anything about it. In her research, only 1% of respondents said they don’t think of aging at all.

“There’s a real opportunity to help people take control of something they feel a little bit powerless about today,” Eamer said. “…We can really help people feel like they have a little bit more control over this journey. And that’s huge. That’s what gets me up in the morning and gets me super excited.”

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