Andrea Chial Uses Tech to Empower People with Chronic Illnesses

A health toolbox app to help patients manage their conditions

The chronic illness journey can be lonely, so this healthtech startup built an all-in-one app to help foster community and educate. 

Andrea Chial is the co-founder and COO of Febo, developer of a health toolbox app that provides chronic condition patients with condition management tools. The company’s platform also shares the most current news and findings surrounding health conditions.

Andrea Chial, co-founder and COO of Febo

Andrea Chial

Launched in 2019 and headquartered in California, Febo's mission is to empower patients' medical journeys by providing education and tools to manage their conditions. The platform supplies users with news on clinical trials, medicine reminders, food and sleep diaries, activity tracker, and more. The company's app is Android and iOS compatible. 

"After seeing the gap in healthcare access, I knew technology could help our users and empower their medical journey," Chial told Lifewire. "With a tech company, I knew I could have an impact in society and help the thousands of chronic condition patients that want to feel heard. This affects more people than many realize."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Andrea Chial
  • Age: 31
  • From: Panama City, Panama
  • Random delight: She has lived in five different countries. 
  • Key quote or motto: "Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future." – Seneca

Meaningful Impact

Chial earned a degree in marketing from Penn State University before acquiring a master of business administration from Georgetown University. After business school, Chial wanted to work for an organization that had a meaningful impact on society. So, she reconnected with Nick Focil, Febo's other co-founder and chairman, and he pitched her the idea for Febo. Chial thought Febo's mission and vision aligned with the next step in her career, so she decided to join the team. 

Febo has under ten employees, including UI/UX designers, marketers, scientists, and researchers, and the company is looking to grow its team soon to expand its flagship app. The platform gives users more than 2,000 conditions to choose from and has a patent-pending medical news algorithm that will integrate the latest treatments, drug approvals, and progress for conditions into its app. 

"Today, patients have very little access to education and tools to manage their conditions," Chial said. "We created Febo with several tools to help a patient manage their condition and access the latest medical news on their condition of interest."

Building Community

Chial said Febo's biggest challenge has been raising funding. The company launched bootstrapped, but it recently closed a funding round. Febo signed a simple agreement for future equity with an investor, often called a SAFE round, which guarantees the investor equity in the company after another major financial shift happens.

"This was the first time I raised capital for a company, and it was very challenging and mentally tolling, but extremely rewarding once you close your first round," Chial said. 

Closing this initial funding round and reaching 14,000 app installs have been some of Chial's most rewarding moments at Febo. She cherishes learning new processes in the startup industry, especially as a non-technical founder. Chial said she learns new things from talking to her team and peers.

Febo on iPhone showing homepage and connect screens, and sleep log feature

Febo

"We have bi-weekly brainstorming sessions with the entire team where we discuss upcoming projects and new ideas," she said. "Our team is fairly young and eager to innovate. Here at Febo, we always welcome new ideas."

Aside from hiring new team members, Chial wants to develop and add more tools to the mobile application. Febo recently launched a new feature called Connect, which matches users based on their interests in the same chronic health conditions. Users can enter chats with their matches anonymously if they'd like, too. With this new addition, Febo hopes to build a community with patients looking for more support outside of tools and education.

"When you are first diagnosed with a chronic condition, you can feel really alone," Chial said. "This feature helps connect people, and it's completely anonymous."

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