About the solution
Studies indicate a plurality of women consider chemo-induced hair loss to be the most “traumatic” aspect of chemotherapy and nearly 10% say they’d decline treatment just to avoid it.
Scalp-cooling, which some patients say feels like having an ice pack on your head, can help many patients save all or most of their hair from falling out, a common side-effect of chemo, because the cold constricts blood vessels and prevents the cancer-fighting chemicals from reaching hair follicles.
But Kate Dilligan’s experience was unwieldy and expensive, necessitating the help of a white-glove service to put dry ice packs on her head every 20 to 30 minutes while chemicals were pumped into her body. The process worked, but left Kate convinced there was a better way.
As a Stanford business school graduate and longtime technology executive, Kate tapped into her network to find design engineers to investigate the physics around a portable capping system and then build and test a prototype. She wanted a headpiece that was flexible and secure enough to stay on any person’s head and a cooling unit that would stay connected to the cap and remain near-freezing even after it unplugged from a power source and traveled with a patient.
Kate joined a tech accelerator in San Diego, where she lives, and raised $1.4 million in a seed round in 2019, which helped her complete the prototype. By December 2021, the Cooler Heads Amma cap had been cleared for commercialization by the Food and Drug Administration, allowing Kate to raise another $2.4 million in venture funding. She launched to the public in July with the intent of renting caps directly to consumers or selling them to chemo infusion centers, so they could rent them to patients.
Amma cap is a portable scalp-cooling device that was born from Kate's startup, Cooler Heads. Amma™ is designed to be portable and wholly self-administered by the patient. Due to the mobility of the unit, the patient can leave the infusion chair to complete their scalp cooling therapy.
Cooler Heads did over a quarter-million dollars in sales in its first two months on the market.
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Alzheimer's disease (incl subtypes)
Bladder infections and inflammations
Lymphomas Hodgkin's disease
Hodgkin's disease nodular sclerosis type
Lymphomas non-Hodgkin's T-cell
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas NEC
Blood autoimmune disorders
Bone and joint injuries NEC
Bone cancer metastatic
Brain cancer metastatic
Breast disorders NEC
Bronchial conditions NEC
Cardiac disorders NEC
chronic kidney failure
Diabetes complicating pregnancy
Diabetes mellitus inadequate control
Diabetes mellitus malnutrition-related
Diabetes with hyperosmolarity
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy
Diabetic complications cardiovascular
Diabetic complications dermal
Diabetic complications gastrointestinal
Diabetic complications NEC
Ear injuries NEC
Lupus erythematosus (incl subtypes)
Multiple sclerosis acute and progressive
Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism
Rheumatoid arthritis and associated conditions
General signs and symptoms NEC
Heart failure signs and symptoms
Inner ear signs and symptoms
Loss of fine motor skills
Loss of speech
Mucosal findings abnormal
Muscle related signs and symptoms NEC
Muscle tone abnormal
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue pain and discomfort
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue signs and symptoms NEC
Nausea and vomiting symptoms
Neurological signs and symptoms NEC
Oral soft tissue signs and symptoms
Respiratory signs and symptoms NEC