Equitable Health Systems


omgyno: Home Testing & Telehealth

Progressive gynecology that includes home testing & telehealth options to overcome stigma & discrimination.

Team Lead

Doreen Toutikian

Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization


What is the name of your solution?

omgyno: Home Testing & Telehealth

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

With home testing & telehealth we support anyone with a vagina to overcome stigma, and protect themselves from cervical cancer, STIs & vaginitis.

What specific problem are you solving?

Cultural taboos surrounding menstrual & sexual health hinder many girls, women, and genderqueer people with vaginas from seeking gynecology services and getting tested; leading to misinformation, preventable life threatening diseases such as cervical cancer, and the feeling of lack of control over their bodies. Although this is a global problem, it is much more prominent in religiously and culturally conservative societies.

Some conservative doctors have been shaming their patients with their discriminatory perspectives on gender, sexuality, body image, and general life choices that are not heteronormative; others have been pushing unnecessary drugs and misdiagnosing for profit or lack of access to research. Women who are not actively seeking to give birth, or are overweight are bullied and made to feel as an inferior part of society. People who have multiple partners are shamed for their behaviors, and blamed when they are diagnosed with an STI. Misinformation and misdiagnosis is alarmingly common; and doctor associations and hospitals make it impossible and costly to report their ill practices. Finding a good doctor that makes a person feel safe is not easy for so many people, and good doctors are often overbooked and expensive, which makes it very difficult to access them. Our research on this subject,  focusing on southern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East show that many have lost trust in this healthcare system, and are refusing to visit the gynecologist, putting themselves at risk, because of experiencing verbal, physical, and professional abuse or malpractice. 

As a consequence, cervical cancer is on the rise in the Middle East, where we still have (in some regions) gynecologists refusing to see women who are unmarried, unless accompanied by their father. Furthermore, many married women who assume that they are in monogamous relationships catch HPV from their spouse and as they are not encouraged to get tested, they realize they have cervical cancer too late. There have been many reports of doctors who try to hide how their patients caught HPV, in order to "save the family and their reputation" - in other words, reinforcing patriarchal oppression. According to the World Health Organization,  50% of women in Saudi Arabia diagnosed with cervical cancer die from late detection. Additionally 1.9 million women in the UAE over 15 are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Even though the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention recommends that all females get tested regularly, "many women do not follow the screening guidelines due to several factors, such as embarrassment & fear of the testing process". Most of the other countries' ministries of health do not even publish this type of public health information.

Prototyped in Greece, omgyno is focusing on urban and rural areas in Southern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East, where these services are most needed due to patriarchal societies, gender equality imbalance, little access to progressive gynecologists, and conservative healthcare systems, which have negatively impacted access to this essential healthcare need. Much of these issues are cultural but we believe with the right campaigns, technology, and a human-centered approach, we can overcome these challenges and save lives. Screenings urged as cervical cancer rates forecast to double across Middle  East

What is your solution?

In response to these challenges, omgyno is a female-led healthtech platform that is redesigning the gynecological experience with human-centered design to promote self-care, privacy, and control. Our organization explicitly identifies as feminist, inclusive, community-driven, eco-conscious, holistic and fun-loving. These are values that are in direct response to the problems we are facing as women and genderqueer people from the region. To tackle some of the most urgent issues our community is facing, we offer two main services: home testing & telehealth.

We have developed home testing kits with a certified lab and microbiologist (Dr Anna Lyberopoulou) in Greece in order to allow users to take samples of their vaginal fluid at home with certified sterilized swabs, which are then picked up by us (by scanning a QR code) and sent to the lab. Results arrive to the user by email within 5 working days; encrypted and anonymous respecting the privacy of each person. The are four main types of home tests: a fully detailed vaginal swab culture, an HPV test, urinalysis (with urine sample), and STI13 test which covers 13 of the most common STIs. 

Unlike all lab results, we go through the effort of showing all the tests for which the sample was examined, and have added a link to a page on our site explaining the whole process. Users can understand the difference between viruses, fungal and bacterial infections, and learn about how they might have caught them, how to prevent them, and what treatment options they can consider. This is information that doctors never give patients, as confirmed in the surveys we have gathered. For us, self-care is about information, and being give the opportunity to learn about your body so that you can care for it.

In addition, we offer telehealth services (online consultation with HIPAA compliant software) with progressive doctors and healthcare professionals that are recommended by the community and believe in our values. These doctors provide a safe space for all our users for consultation, especially in the case of positive results. Our main advisors on this are Dr Christina Ampatzi from Greece, and Dr Mary Tazanios from Lebanon. 

Currently, we have built the whole platform as a browser-based solution on Wordpress (designed and developed by the CEO) along with integrated APIs to allow functionalities such as live booking with doctors, calendar updating, synchronizing with local couriers for deliveries and pick ups, ordering home tests, and forms that are filled by the lab which are automatically exported as encrypted pdfs to be sent to the user. With more funding we would like to develop a native app that is customized for each user (language, geofence, gender identity & orientation, available services per region...etc.) in order to expand and reach as many users as possible who are in need of such a service. Furthermore, we want to expand to Portugal, Egypt, and Italy in the next 2 years and expand our doctor network as well as our user base. Within 10 years we would like to be operational in most parts of the MENA region, southern Europe and the Balkans.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

This solution serves 50% of the population, or everyone with a vagina who needs access to gynecology. Our target audience is categorized into four personas, based on survey that we have designed and implemented between 2019 and 2021 with over 3500 people mainly from Lebanon, Greece, Algeria, UAE, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Spain, and Cyprus.

1.Ms. No Access
Lives outside the city, is cautious about what the neighbors say and what information reaches her family, and does not have access to a gynecologist she can trust. 

2.Ms. Progressive/ LGBTQAI+ 
Does not want to go to a conservative gynecologist because she/they has/have experienced shaming  & wants to learn to take control of her/their body.

3. Ms. Remote
Is not comfortable with physical visits or being touched by a doctor and prefers to do as much as possible through tech with minimal contact.

4. Ms. Language Barrier 
Does not speak the local language and prefers tech solutions (like uber) that demand very little communication in order to avoid embarrassment and discomfort.

Our home tests and telehealth services are built exactly for the needs of these personas, hence they are human-centered design. We take into account the need for privacy, the need to be able to filter a doctor based on language and most importantly to ensure that we are really offering the safe space and access to tests in full privacy. We do not share any data about our users with any third parties. Moreover, the content that is developed by omgyno and spread to our audience of over 6k followers provides up to date, reliable and often taboo information about sexual health, which allows users to directly contact as with further questions and requests. This allows us to constantly adapt to their needs and evolve as an organization.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Since its inception, this project has brought together a diverse group of very intelligent, strong, and skilled women from many countries, who felt that they want to be part of its mission, because it speaks to them personally, and they believe it can be part of the change we all demand.

Doreen Toutikian (Lebanese) is a human centered designer who has worked as a consultant to UN agencies focusing on women and youth, and has also founded an NGO in Lebanon that focuses on design for social impact, and the annual event Beirut Design Week. She has worked in arts and culture promoting feminism through film festivals, workshops and conferences. Her mission to found omgyno was based on her "humiliating" experience of going through the healthcare system in Lebanon when she was diagnosed with HPV.

Elisabeth Milisi (Greek) joined Doreen as co-founder and COO in Greece to prototype the project. Her 20 years of experience in business, logistics, and sales for Nike Europe, was essential to turn the mission into a functional business and flawless operations with local partners.

Katerina Papageorgiou (Greek) is a marketing and communications specialist and an activist with over 25K followers on social media, spreading awareness about feminism. She is the communication manager of omgyno Greece and has managed to gather a community of over 6k engaged followers within 4 months. The mission of omgyno, was also hers even before she joined the team. She is able to create a safe space online for critical engagement to take place with our community. She is the person that speaks directly with everyone and responds to direct messages. Her role is key because she provides us with all the feedback we need from users in order to further build our strategies.

Dr Mary Tazanios (Lebanese) is a Gynecologist/Obstetrician. Her experience in Lebanon as a healthcare professional, the head of the ObGyn department in a hospital and a woman, made her the first senior advisor for omgyno. Her input with regards to patient-doctor relations and general practical gynecology has been a massive benefit to the organization.

Dr Christina Ampatzi (Greek) is a gynecologist that has been working with refugees in Greece and was one of the first young doctors in Greece promoting telehealth due to the realizations that many women and young girls in rural areas or camps cannot access safe gynecology clinics. 

Dr Amalia Savvidi (Greek) is a gynecologist who supports queer and trans people on the their journey to better healthcare, she is also the star of "Ask your Gyno" a series initiated by omgyno where the community asks questions and Dr Savvidi gives advice.

Elli Kastrika (Greek) is a midwife and an outspoken activist dedicated to the elimination of obstetric violence in Greece (where the rate of c-sections is over 80%, with a major disregard to the consent of the mother).

Dr Amy Awad (Saudi Arabian) is an AI and machine learning expert and lesbian mother living in Ireland. She is involved in the app development of omgyno and identifies very much with the mission, and hopes to see it become a reality in her home city in Riyadh.

Margarita Pita (Greek) is a feminist lawyer who has been supporting omgyno with all the regulatory and legal aspects.

Rosa Akbari (Iranian-Canadian) is an advisor to omgyno and the Senior Digitalization Advisor of the Social Protection Unit at World Food Programme. Apart from believing in the project and its cause, Rosa's vast network has been essential for the development of global partnerships and finding relevant opportunities (she advised us to apply to this call).

Noemi Ricci (Italian) is a feminist activist who has been volunteering with LAIGA (the National Association of Italian Gynecologists for Law 194 - pro choice). She contacted omgyno after reading about its mission in a press article; and has since translated the website to Italian, and plans to be leading the Italian chapter.

Sara Baptista de Souza (Portuguese) is a communications expert who saw Doreen present omgyno at Web Summit 2021, and decided that she would convince her to start a hub in Portugal because she has faced so much healthcare abuse as a single mother. Together with Ines Dust, a queer activist in Lisbon who also approached omgyno, they have started building a community and partnerships in the next hub.

The above are just some of the many members who have contributed to omgyno's development for the past year. Some work full time, some are project based, and others are advisors and volunteers with specific schedules. We will be publishing the extensive list of contributors on our website in the next months and would be happy to provide the CVs of everyone mentioned above. 

Our personal and professional experiences and our regular discussions in combination with the information provided in the surveys mentioned above and the constant feedback we get from the social media community have been and will continue to be the guidance for design and implementation of our solution.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Build fundamental, resilient, and people-centered health infrastructure that makes essential services, equipment, and medicines more accessible and affordable for communities that are currently underserved;

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Athens, Greece

Our solution's stage of development:


How many people does your solution currently serve?

We have tested our service with 20 users and sold 40 home tests & telehealth sessions. In theory, we serve the female population of Greece: 5.5 million, but we plan on serving the 317 million women in southern Europe, the Balkans and the MENA region.

Why are you applying to Solve?

We were advised that this program is unique and can be highly beneficial to a small startup like us who is social impact focused but also on a culturally sensitive matter. We need guidance from progressive like-minded organizations with know-how to help us create the impact we want to achieve, and the courage to change oppressive systems. We also need credible partnerships with institutions who have the same values as us, to help us grow our network and reach. In regions where we are from, and where we operate, such opportunities are very rare, so to be part of the MIT Solver network would be a privilege and a rich resource of knowledge and information that we would otherwise never access. Although we need many forms of support, our main goal is to expand our service outside of Greece, to the target communities and find key networks that will support our initiative and partner with us for greater impact and outreach to new users.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Doreen Toutikian, cofounder & CEO

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

So far, in the vast majority of cases, the sexual health of women and girls in conservative regions has been a subject that mostly international NGOs address. Local populations avoid talking about it altogether because it is taboo. The problem with this system is that for most of the local populations, when iNGOs create awareness campaigns about the subject, it reinforces the notion of colonial and western superiority that can easily lead to dismissing the entire issue or refusing any solutions that are on offer. We believe that the only way for women and people with vaginas to overcome this issue is to have a home-grown and culturally relevant solution, made by them and for them. This is what omgyno plans to achieve, by creating partnerships with local feminists, activists, and key stakeholders who want to campaign for the cause, and are not afraid to address these issues through strategically planned communications.

Moreover, technology companies and their various innovations have been changing behaviors in unprecedented ways the past decade. By creating demand for sexual health and gynecology services facilitated through tech (which can overcome all the barriers we currently observe in traditional gynecology) we can anticipate cultural change from within. Women have the right to take control over their bodies, to learn how to take care of themselves, and be absolutely private about their sex lives, without having to deal with a conservative shaming doctor. That kind of power is a privilege. If this service is available and affordable, any woman in Cairo or Beirut would buy it. And if they are creating demand and taking care of themselves with their own will, it is surely a gamechanger, far more than any NGO campaign. We want to give them the power and dignity, without shame and without a handout.

Our solution is innovative because it is based on research in an area of healthcare that is relatively dismissed, and combines cultural factors to better understand users and develop personas. It integrates service design with gynecology, sexual health testing, and education into a smooth tech-friendly experience. It empowers the user to take control in an area of life and health where they have had no control at all. It is catalytic because it allows the user to be enthusiastically, comfortably, and openly active about their sexual health. It removes all feelings of shame from the equation, the biggest source of the problem. And this saves millions of lives from dangers such as cervical cancer.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

In the next year we want to expand to Portugal, Italy and Egypt.

In five years we want to add UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Spain, Turkey, and Jordan.

In five years we want to have 1 million satisfied users of our app.

We want to build a large network across the Mediterranean of progressive and open-minded healthcare professionals that will be supportive and caring.

We want to encourage dialogue in a safe space about all these taboo subjects openly and positively by creating events for people to meet and learn about better health and wellness practices.

We want to build a transnational society that focuses on health with feminist, inclusive, eco-conscious, holistic, community-driven, and fun-loving values.

In the long run, we want to eliminate cervical cancer.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Number of users and their behaviors through Google Analytics

Social Media Followers & their Engagement

Newsletter signups

Partnerships (labs, healthcare professionals, student/feminist organizations, NGOs, public/governmental entities, support programs, like-minded companies, and institutions)

Press requests (from journalists who want to cover the project)


Returning customers

Positive feedback (messages and emails sent by fans showing support in the community)

Behavioral change (someone opting for a home test or telehealth for the first time)

What is your theory of change?


Home testing & Telehealth


Direct access to immediate diagnostic test and lab results and direct access to booking options with a network of healthcare professionals with progressive values for consultation.

Short term outcomes: 

Regular doctor visits, regular testing, immediate access to consultation, avoiding misinformation & misdiagnosis. 

Early diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections, as well as other sources of vaginitis.

Successful treatment.

Medium term outcomes: 

Options of self care, privacy and control of one's own body and health, and knowledge.

Long term outcomes: 

Better health & the elimination of cervical cancer

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Currently our browser based solution uses the following technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP.

The mobile application which will be developed will be using ReactNative and Python (for AI and machine learning).

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Audiovisual Media
  • Behavioral Technology
  • Big Data
  • Software and Mobile Applications

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

Full-time staff: 3, contractors/project-based: 22

How long have you been working on your solution?

The research phase for the project started in February 2019, the idea for omgyno was born in March 2020, the comapny was registered in march 2021.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

99% of our company and our associates are women or non-binary people.

The 1% of cis male colleagues we work with focus primarily on investment consulting. And that helps significantly since most investors are male.

We believe the wealth of our knowledge comes from cultural diversity and we are very proud to have people from various countries and backgrounds working with us. Over time, we would like to see all colors and genders as part of our community.

This has been a goal of omgyno -even more than a policy- before it was formed as a company, especially because of its cause and focus on female sexual health, and we intend to keep it that way.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

omgyno's revenue model is based on commissions in partnership with diagnostics labs and healthcare professionals. 


In each country (or prefecture) omgyno has a contractual partnership with a diagnostics laboratory, equipped to examine and analyze the samples sent to them. The lab charges omgyno a set fee per test. Omgyno adds a commission fee to cover courier and service costs. The user pays the full amount upon online order. omgyno settles fees with the lab and the courier at the end of each month.


omgyno healthcare professionals (HP) are recommended by the community and they don't pay fees to be featured on the website. Instead, omgyno creates a profile for each HP and promotes them through social media. Once a user books a telehealth session, they pay the full amount, a percentage of that amount goes to the HP and the rest to omgyno.

The prices of these services in each country are established relatively to the local market prices.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our primary source of income are the services we offer to our users: home tests & telehealth. In Greece and eventually in some countries, we also sell some products. These are eco-friendly menstrual care products such as menstrual cups, period underwear, ecopads, and also sexual wellness products such as kegel trainers. The products are a secondary source of revenue.

We apply to grants whenever relevant.

We consider partnerships with governmental and non-governmental institutions (for example, with ActionAid, we will be piloting a program in a part of Athens where we can provide free home tests and consultation within the municipality owned clinics). 

However, we do not want to depend on funding as a source of income, but would like to be self-sustaining by providing a service where a market need has been investigated.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

We have received 80K euros in pre-seed investment, 60K from a VC called Think Bigger Capital in Spain, and 20K from an angel investor. We have generated an average of 300-500 euros per month since we started legally selling our services in October 2021. We are fundraising for a seed round to be able to implement our next phase and applying to many programs for support.

Solution Team

  • Doreen Toutikian Human-centered designer, cofounder & CEO, omgyno
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