Roman is a digital health clinic for men. The telehealth service was founded in 2017 with the goal of “improving the lives of men and their partners by making high-quality healthcare accessible and convenient.”
Through Roman, men can get treatment for a variety of health conditions, ranging from erectile dysfunction to premature ejaculation to hair loss and more. Some of the medications via the service counteract STD symptoms like cold sores and genital herpes, while others are designed to treat bone, heart, and prostate problems. Testosterone treatments, allergy medication and skin creams are also available.
After starting up Roman, the startup’s founders formed an umbrella company called Ro. Ro has produced a range of other telehealth services that cater to different demographics. These include a anti-smoking program for men and women called Zero and a female-oriented telehealth service called Rory.
Ro made headlines in the summer of 2019 when it announced that venture capitalists had valued the business at $500 million. The valuation came on the heels of news that Ro had reeled in $85 million in Series B funding. Prior to that, the company had received $88 million in Series A funding.
Roman’s co-founders consist of three entrepreneurs: Rob Schutz, Saman Rahmanian and Zachariah Reitano. Before joining Roman, Reitano co-founded the Y Combinator-backed virtual marketplace platform known as Shout. Rahmanian’s most notable venture prior to Roman is the office management platform Managed by Q and Schultz served as the VP of Growth at BarkBox.
Product and services
For improving sexual performance
Sildenafil citrate (generic Viagra)
From a medical point of view, Sildenafil citrate is exactly the same as the well known erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. Classified as a PDE inhibitor, Sildenafil improves blood flow by relaxing vessels throughout the body. This improved blood flow leads to longer lasting erections.
Tadalafil (generic Cialis)
Tadalafil is similar to sildenafil in that both medicines are PDE inhibitors that are proven to be effective against erectile dysfunction. However, tadalafil lasts longer than sildenafil. The effects of tadalafil wear off after about 18 hours, while sildenafil only lasts for about 4 to 6 hours.
Designed to prevent premature ejaculation, Roman Swipes give you an easy way to apply benzocaine to your penis before sex. Benzocaine is a mild anaesthetic and helps some men extend the amount of time they can engage in intercourse prior to orgasm.
For allergies, asthma and stuffy noses
Montelukast (generic Singulair)
Montelukast belongs to a category of medications known as leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs). It puts the brakes on various reactions in the body that cause asthma and hay fever.
Levocetirizine (generic Xyzal)
The antihistamine drug Levocetirizine can be used to not only relieve symptoms related to allergic rhinitis but also treat hives and itching. Your body releases histamines when it becomes inflamed or irritated.
Fluticasone propionate (generic Flonase)
Fluticasone propionate is a corticosteroid that can be used to reduce the swelling that comes with a stuffy nose. It can be used to shrink nasal polyps, as well.
Azelastine (generic Astelin)
Azelastine is similar to fluticasone propionate, only it’s an antihistamine– not a corticosteroid. Both can be used to treat stuffy nose symptoms. According to Roman, the effects of Azelastine will kick in after just 15 minutes.
For reducing sexually transmitted disease symptoms
Valacyclovir (generic Valtrex)
Valacyclovir reduces symptoms associated with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) by interfering with the way the sexually transmitted diseases multiply and spread.
For treating male pattern baldness
Minoxidil (generic Rogaine)
Used by both men and women, clinical tests have shown that Minoxidil can potentially help restore hair growth if used continually.
Finasteride (generic Propecia)
Finasteride stops testosterone from converting into DHT– the androgen that causes hair follicles to shrink and stop producing hair. In one study, 88% of all men who tried it stopped losing hair, while 66% of the group experienced hair regrowth.
Frequently asked questions about Roman
How does Roman work?
Roman is similar to a brick-and-mortar clinic, only the initial consultation is performed through the internet. After you sign up, you have to provide your medical information by filling out a series of forms. Then, a doctor looks at your data and determines whether or not Roman is right for you.
Can anyone order drugs from Roman?
Yes, but there are some restrictions. You can’t order drugs from Roman if it has been more than three years since you’ve had a checkup.
Are generic drugs less effective than name brand drugs?
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the short answer is: no. There is no hard proof that generic drugs are less safe or effective than their name brand counterparts. All generic drugs have to go through an approval process that’s overseen by the FDA. In order to pass, generic drugs must be bioequivalent to the name brand drug that they are designed to emulate. While the FDA does allow for a 20% difference between the chemical makeup of the generic drug and the original, most generic drugs are 94% identical to the drug that they’re based on.
Roman is a cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction
Published in the same year that Roman was founded, this article from TechCrunch explains the telehealth company’s origins story and mission.
Men’s health gets the silicon valley treatment
Another early press mention for Roman, this piece from CNN sheds light on the founders’ early fundraising efforts.
How to diagnose your erectile dysfunction without setting foot in a doctor’s office
This article from Men’s Health goes into detail about how discreteness is a key aspect of what Roman brings to the table.
This app tracks your erections
Instead of focusing on Roman itself, this article from the New York Post draws attention to a smartphone app from Roman called Morning Glory. Morning erections are a sign of good overall health and the app provides an easy way to track this key indicator.
A startup aims to help the 18 million US men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction pay attention to their ‘check-engine light’
The fact that 18 million American men suffer from erectile dysfunction is this Business Insider article’s starting point. Roman aims to address the issue by offering a trustworthy and way to get help with this and other mens’ health issues.