New site eases patient stress

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FREDERICK, Md. - Paula Jagemann, an online women's health provider, thinks it should be easy for cancer patients to find the products they need.

Jagemann first learned how difficult it was to shop for certain items when working with a hospital on its breast cancer center.

"It took me five hours to find all the products that a variety of sources told me I should buy," said Jagemann. "That is appalling."

In May, she launched Someone With, an online home health and medical supply site.

Someone With carries products ranging from compression garments and nightgowns to skin care products for women undergoing radiation treatments. Many specialty items are produced by individuals working out of their homes and often require some effort to track down, said Jagemann.

"We want to offer the products that are complementary to your care and not necessarily prescribed by your doctor," she said.

Customers can place orders online or over the phone. Someone With also offers a catalog. Orders are shipped in an attractive box packed with aromatherapy tissue paper.

"I want it to be beautiful," said Jagemann. "What's in that box is often the first physical confirmation of your cancer."

Other features on the site include a "find a specialist" button that locates certified mastectomy fitters and a patent-pending medical registry. The patient creates a registry with the products she would like. She then enters the email addresses of friends and family, who receive a direct link back to the registry where they can purchase registry items or donate money.

"It's a novel way for friends and family to contribute to and add value as opposed to flowers, teddy bears and mugs," she said. "These are productive gifts and help relieve the financial burden these women endure."

Jagemann says she has no plans to replace--or even compete--with traditional women's health boutiques. 

"The compassion and personal touch of 'mom and mom' providers will always be in demand," she said. "I think in a lot of ways we can complement their services."