– By Khahlil Louisy
On Tuesday, June 27, 2018, Estrella Jaramillo, Cofounder of B-wom, the digital health platform for women, hosted a panel in partnership with innovative insurance Oscar Health and IE Business School. The goal was to create a space to talk about the Femtech Revolution and business opportunities that lie at the intersection of health, women, and technology.
True to the core of its topic, the panel saw a line-up of female Founders and top Executives, including miss Jaramillo, along with Mette Dyhrberg, co-founder and CEO of MyMee, Christie H. Lee, Product manager at Babyscripts, and Carly Stockdale, VP of Commercial Operations at Prelude Fertility. Oscar Health’s SVP of Product, Sara Wajnberg, moderated the panel, at the company’s New York City Headquarters.
Estrella introduced the event and brought attention to the reality that the growing number of women in the workforce and leadership positions is putting pressure on the demands for more women-focused benefits. Women need health solutions tailored to their needs and the time is now. The Femtech industry is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2025 and it is becoming one of the most attractive and innovative sectors in health care.
Estrella Jaramillo, women’s health advocate and Cofounder of B-wom, Oscar Health and IE Business School cosponsor Femtech Revolution talk in New York
Femtech encompasses digital & hardware solutions, products and services focused on improving one or the many aspects of women’s health, including period health and hygiene, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum recovery, Endometriosis, menopause, and other health issues that mostly impact women. “Female founders responded to the existing gaps in the health care system and the increasing demands of women by building businesses that apply technology and innovation to the improvement of existing solutions for these problems,” said Jaramillo.
During the panel discussion, Mette Dyhrberg brought attention to the lack of information around health issues that affect women. Her company, MyMee, focuses on data-driven coaching that monitors symptoms to create an individualized care plan, instead of a “one size fits all” package. “85 percent of people affected by Lupus are women, and two-thirds of them are Black and Latino women, women of color,” said Dyhrberg. She went on to say that initially, Mymee was going to work with doctors, but communities of color who are affected most by diseases like Lupus are often not able to receive the level of care they need. She created Mymee app to be available to any person, especially the people who need it most.
Carly Stockdale of Prelude Fertility, discussed the disconnect between talking about women’s health and the services women find themselves needing at times. For instance, she said, many women do not know how many eggs they can produce or their level of fertility, because that isn’t an everyday conversation they are told to have. This fact isn’t a surprise considering that, due to the fast-paced and dismissive quality of the current health care system, women’s issues are often overlooked and not discussed. Or women are told to “deal with it.”
“Out of our 215,000 users, 70 percent have one or more intimate, pelvic or sexual health dysfunction, and yet, only two percent of them were referred to the correct specialist or found a permanent solution. Many of those women suffered in silence for years until they found someone who told them there was a solution. “Incontinence, sexual pain in women, recovery postpartum. There are no strictly adhered to protocols in place to help women with these health issues, because they are just not a priority” said Estrella. Through research, she has found that Femtech is necessary to give women options that they often won’t have access to, through the traditional health care system.
To conclude the event, Oscar Health SVP, Wajnberg, asked the panel where they saw the future of Femtech going. Christie H. Lee was optimistic. She believes that there will be quality health care for every person, so by default, women will have the comprehensive health care they deserve. All panelists agreed that the future is female and bright.