We kicked things off with the ‘Future of Fertility’ moderated by
Stasa Stankovic, PhD Genomic Medicine, University of Cambridge featuring:
Dr. Helen O’Neill, CEO + Founder Hertility
Lina Chan, CEO + Founder Parla
Dr. Lynn Westphal, Chief Medical Officer Kindbody.
“In the UK you have to miscarry 3 times before you can go see a specialist.”
“25% of women are thinking about giving up work because of menopause symptoms.”
“It’s high-time to create a healthcare system which is also in the hands of women.”
“Advocacy is an important part of the overall mission.”
Next: We had a brilliant Keynote by Chloe E. Bird, Senior Sociologist RAND, on the ‘Economic Case for Investing in Women’s Health ’
Where we learnt that “there were many studies that were dismissed because they didn’t work in men, even though they did in fact work in women. So we need to go back and start reanalysing the data.”
Followed on by a panel on the ‘Gender Data Health Gap’
moderated by Dr. Yana Aznavour, CEO + Founder of Endometrics featuring:
Anna Lee, Head of Engineering + Co-Founder Lioness
Priyanka Jain, CEO + Co-Founder Evvy
Eric Dy, CEO + Co-Founder Bloomlife.
Some things we learnt:
Lioness identified 3 types of orgasm patterns: Ocean wave, Avalanche and Volcano.
“The number of women experiencing pregnancy complications and birth complications increased 31.5% between 2014-2018.”
“Healthcare is the largest contributor to the US GDP and women are 50% of that. Logically, innovation in this field is a huge opportunity.”
“We need to stop normalising women’s pain.”
This panel was followed by a perfect closing Keynote to Day 1 from Dr. Alyson McGregor, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Development, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, on ‘How Male-Centric Medicine Endangers Women’s Health’
Dr. McGregor reminded us that : “We have studied men in their 20s, 30s and 40s with stable testosterone because researchers wanted to find out what was ‘really going on’ and they thought the menstrual cycle would be too complicated to consider. And so we did find out what was really going on – in men that are 20, 30 and 40 and white. We haven’t really understood how important hormone changes impact our body.”
Day TWO of the FemTechnology Summit was kicked off by the illuminating Dr. Jill Goldstein, Founder & Executive Director, Innovation Center On Sex Differences in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, on ‘Impact of Sex on Risk & Therapeutics for Chronic Disease’.
Where we learnt that “Depression and cardiovascular disease are independent risk factors for memory decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. We have no effective treatments for three of the major chronic diseases of our time. We have been tackling this through understanding shared causes of sex differences across disorders with origins in fetal development.”
Next up: an impromptu discussion between Dr. Lynae Brayboy, Chief Medical Officer of Clue, and Leon A. Boston, CEO of MobileODT. And we learnt that: “90 million women in the US live in a contraceptive desert” and as Leon reminded us, cervical cancer is preventable so “no woman in the world should be dying from cervical cancer.”
Valentina Milanova, Founder and CPO of Daye, was able to tell us a little about Daye and how tampons can provide localised relief to the cramps that affect 90% of women. Daye is also expanding to non-invasive vaginal screening using a tampon to increase uptake.
To learn more about the terrific Mette Dyhrberg, make sure you read this femtechnology article in which Mette reminds us of the ways in which our system is fundamentally broken for autoimmune patients.
“If you have an autoimmune disease, it gets taken apart. You go to the doctor and have brain fog, stomach pain, joint issues – and the doctor tells you: “That’s three different specialists. What’s your biggest problem right now?” At that point, we fail the patient. Joints are not a separate issue from the brain fog or from stomach pain. It’s all interrelated.”
We closed the Summit with a panel on the ‘Future of Care’
moderated by Oriana Kraft, Founder of FemTechnology Summit featuring:
Dr. Sipra Laddha, Co-Founder LunaJoy
Hélène Guillaume, Founder + CEO Wild.ai
Viola Karl, CEO MySummer
Dr. Neel Shah, Chief Medical Officer Maven Clinic.
Some important take-homes:
“Women are not men, but research doesn’t seem to know that.”
“75% of women who experience maternal mental health symptoms go untreated.”
“If you are able to help people manage chronic conditions better, they’re less likely to have premature deliveries.”
“Many women are put on hormonal birth control at a very young age without being properly checked first.”
“Healthcare has to be reimagined.”
We closed the Summit with a Keynote by Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, Dean of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, Chief Academic Officer for Prisma Health-Upstate, on the ‘Future of Care’.
She reminded us that “Women have increased mortality as a result of broken systems.” and called us to action to go out there and create a better system
Voilà that’s our #femtechnologysummit recap! Another huge thank you to our speakers for joining and for the ground-breaking work they’re doing to improve women’s health
For those of you who’d like to be the first to know when tickets are released for the next Summit – here’s the
Interested in Participating - as a Sponsor, Start-Up or Researcher?
The 2021 Summit showcased a 360-degree perspective from researchers, innovators and tech entrepreneurs about the challenges and solutions emerging in the field of FemTech
About the Summit
Hosted annually, the FemTechnology Summit features top Startups, Researchers and Medical Doctors working in the field of women’s health – brining them together to showcase innovations happening in the field and highlight where work still needs to be done.
As a leading international academic institution at the cutting edge of health sciences and technology, the aim of the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) is to create the foundations for sustaining and improving the quality of life for people into old age. The Department of Health Sciences and Technology accelerates the transfer of knowledge and technology in clinics, industry and society, and educates a new generation of students at the interface of science, technology, and medicine.
ETHZ Human Medicine: The path via ETH Zurich (for the Bachelor’s degree) and one of its partner universities (for the Master’s degree) lays the foundations for an education in human medicine that will go on to open up opportunities for exchange with the world of science and pave the way towards new developments and technologies. Tackling methods used in the world today, for instance in the areas of personalised medicine and medical engineering, provides a greater understanding of the opportunities and limitations of future treatment methods.
Women at the Table, founded and based in International Geneva, is the first Civil Society Organization to focus on feminist systems change by exercising leverage points in the key sectors of technology, the economy, sustainability and democratic governance. We accomplish this by using the prism of technology, innovation & AI.
Co-founders of the <A+> Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms, we focus on correcting algorithmic bias. This bias is notably present in medical research and outcomes which is why we are proud to co-sponsor the first ETHZ FemTech Summit.
We are leadership of the UN Women Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition for Technology & Innovation for Gender Equality.
Oriana Kraft conceived, curated and produced the first edition of the FemTechnology Summit as her Bachelor’s Research Project at ETH Zurich. Since then she’s become passionate about improving women’s health; from startup ecosystems, to medical education and convinced of the need to connect the great innovations happening in FemTech with the huge remaining gaps in medicine for women, particularly connecting innovative solutions directly with the patients who need them most.
Since graduating from ETH Zurich, Oriana decided to produce the second edition of the FemTechnology Summit, is working on a media project regarding the personalisation of women’s health and an Aggregator.
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