Healthtech to address the knowledge gap among women regarding their hormones
If we asked you, could you explain to us what a hormone does? If you said “no,” you are not by yourself. Many women are ignorant of the significant role hormones play in their lives, even though hormones have a relatively simple purpose—regulating the body’s most essential activities, such as appetite, sex desire, and sleep-wake cycle. In a recent study by fertility tracking gadget Mira, more than 500 of the 1,000 women who took part believed that their hormones are mysterious. Even though hormones serve a very straightforward purpose, many women are unaware of the crucial part they play in their lives—healthtech and fem-tech address the knowledge gap among women regarding their hormones.
One-third of the women had never heard of early menopause, two-thirds had never heard of PCOS (polycystic ovaries), and one-third had never heard of infertility when questioned. However, more than half (64 percent) of the women questioned stated they wanted to learn more about their hormones, which is where health tech may help.
HealthTech: a guide
Know about healthtech? The World Health Organization defines the “application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of equipment, pharmaceuticals, immunizations, procedures, and systems meant to solve a health condition and enhance the quality of life” as “healthtech,” sometimes known as “health technology.”
Healthtech aims to democratize access to information and tools that can improve patient care and preventative healthcare. Fem-tech is a subcategory of health tech that specializes in women’s health and addresses issues including reproductive system care, period tracking software, pregnancy and nursing care, women’s sexual wellbeing, and fertility solutions.
We now can meet women and other people who menstruate where they are, says Claudia Pastides, Medical Advisor at women’s health app Flo. According to the firm, “at Flo, we’re committed to empowering women and others who are menstruation with expert-backed knowledge so that our customers may better understand their bodies from the beginning of their first period up until menopause.”In the end, knowledge is a potent instrument in the healthcare sector. “Education is crucial in aiding women to acquire the therapy they need but so frequently do not have access to, nor a skilled physician who would listen,” claims Shelley Bailey, CEO of Famlee, the first all-in-one telemedicine fertility company.
Closing the women’s health knowledge gap
But there is a wider knowledge gap concerning women’s health concerns in the medical profession as a whole, not just among female patients themselves. All women have historically been excluded from the advancement of healthcare, particularly those who belong to marginalized identity groups. Males and women have different body types, hormonal environments, and body compositions, therefore many therapies that were safe and effective for men often had negative consequences on women. Women have frequently been offered medications that were authorized after being studied by men.
In general, women are more likely to wait longer for a diagnosis and medical, to be ignored, and to be told that their problems are “all in their thoughts,” according to the findings of the most current government survey on women’s health. In addition, women generally experience longer wait times in emergency rooms than men do, and when they experience pain, they are less likely to receive the appropriate medication.
This quickly expanding industry, which addresses every area of women’s health and safety, is beginning to offer trustworthy health information and affordable, readily available, and high-quality healthcare services to women in distant and disadvantaged regions. For instance, UNICEF employed the free period-tracking software Okay as part of a trial project to educate adolescent girls about menstruation in Indonesia and Mongolia. In the Dominican Republic, widespread screenings for cervical cancer employ a non-invasive testing tool developed by Israeli health technology startup MobileODT. Patients in Mexico are using remote monitoring to treat diabetes, which affects an estimated 223 million women worldwide. There are health platforms with trustworthy information on menopause, nutrition, and other topics, as well as safety applications that let women contact for help when they’re in danger.
Flo has collaborated with respected researchers to carry out investigations on female health. For instance, the business collaborated with academics from the Australian University of Adelaide to carry out a sizable study on cycle durations and fertile periods in 2019.
Only 16 percent of research participants had cycles that lasted more than 28 days, according to Pastides. “We reviewed cycle data of almost 1.5 million people from throughout the world,” she adds. The study’s findings are crucial because they increase our understanding of the menstrual cycle, which will enable us to better support and care for those who are trying to get pregnant.
It seems like things are getting better and this is only the beginning. According to Dr. Nakhuda, new medicines will be created in response to this expedited understanding to enhance the general quality of life and health outcomes. This time frame is encouraging, particularly if health tech companies prioritize diversity. For healthtech to continue to develop, it is crucial to ensure that it is accessible to a large population, regardless of gender, color, or any other socioeconomic barrier.