Inside Tia Clinic, a new gynecological practice designed for and by women

The exam room in the new Tia Clinic, a gynecology and wellness practice in Flatiron that is opening Thursday. 
The exam room in the new Tia Clinic, a gynecology and wellness practice in Flatiron that is opening Thursday.  Photo Credit: NYU Photo Bureau – Hollenshead

When designing their first clinic, the founders of the health care app Tia sought input on everything from the location of the gynecology and wellness practice to the exam gown.

Tia Clinic, opening Thursday in the Flatiron District, is a physical extension of the app, which includes a cycle, health and wellness tracker, answers to health questions and a digital health record for its 30,000-plus users.

The company is based in San Francisco, but the founders decided to open the first of what it hopes will be several urban clinics across the country in New York City based on feedback from its users. It’s all part of Tia’s effort to encourage “co-creation” and not “redesign women’s health care in a vacuum,” said Carolyn Witte, who co-founded Tia with Felicity Yost.

“[The] more emotional, experiential components that we hear from our users, and that I’ve experienced myself as a patient in the health care system, [are] alone, confused, neglected, not heard, patronized, judged, all sort of negative words,” Witte said. “And we thought about rebuilding a new model of women’s health care that was by women, for women.”

The office was designed by the LAB at Rockwell.
The office was designed by the LAB at Rockwell. Photo Credit: Kezi Ban @ Blonde Artists / courtesy of Rockwell Group

Tia crowdsourced through its app, social media and events to decide on what types of services the clinic will offer. To start, that includes comprehensive gynecological care, basic primary care, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. The founders have also noticed a demand for mental health and fertility, and they hope to expand into areas like OB over time. They also asked users about hours, offering Saturday and evening appointments based on feedback.

Beyond services, the founders sought to rethink the typical medical office experience through design. The clinic, at 30 E. 23rd St., was designed by the LAB at Rockwell and is decked out with colorful murals by Alex Proba of Studio Proba and Amanda Dandeneau of Wallpaper Projects. The kimono-style patient gown was also designed by Tia in collaboration with Jane Hall of house of jpeg and Jené Stefaniak of StitchLuxe, with feedback from members.

“We invited members into our space and had them try on different prototypes and help us iterate on where the ties go and make sure it fits different body types,” Witte said. “Is it too short? Is it too big? Is it acceptable for a breast exam or a pelvic exam? How do they make women feel?”

The members-only clinic costs $150 a year to join ($99 through Wednesday), or $15 a month. The membership covers perks not typically offered by a medical office, like chatting with a doctor on demand, same-day appointments, prescription refills from your phone, access to community events and discounted wellness services.

The clinic does take several insurance plans for gynecology and primary care services.

“That’s very important and core to our model and way we’re making this new care model accessible to as many women as possible,” Witte said.