Innovations in Women's Health

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Women's Health: Societal Trends

Digitalization and personalization are some US societal trends that influence the surge of innovation in the women's health market.

Digitalization

  • Digitalization is an unstoppable mega societal trend that exists not just in the US but also in all the other parts of the world. According to Forbes Women, one of the 2019 trends in women's health is that digital health has been attracting consumers who desire to have a better experience. It appears that the desire for a better healthcare experience is what's driving the trend.
  • The consumers that digital health mostly attracts are the millennials and generation Z as these are the generations that find navigating healthcare as a burdensome process.
  • In 2018, female technology or femtech is recognized as the "next big phenomenon in the women’s health market." Femtech constitutes the use of digital health in order to "motivate patients to access and use applications for managing women’s health issues."
  • Maven Clinic is one company that is at the forefront of this trend. It is the only virtual clinic of therapists, nutritionists, and OB-Gynes. It provides "24-hour access dedicated to women's health." Maven Clinic also offers "video appointments and private messaging" with women's health practitioners.

Personalization

  • In 2017, Forbes said that personalization is a "popular trend that enhances the customer experience." This trend has been reflected in the women's health market as entrepreneurs have been personalizing health care through the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • This trend is related to digitalization in that personalized wellness has been a "top-5 investment area in digital health for several years now."
  • An example of a company that is at the forefront of this trend is Jessie Health. According to Kerranna Williamson, the COO and Co-Founder of Jessie Health, personalized health solutions have become more accessible and affordable due to the advancements in health technology.
  • Williamson further said that "with the rise of digital tools that aid users in understanding and managing their health data, there will be a surge of solutions targeted to women to help them create health experiences that are more personal and meaningful to them and their families." This shows that the rise of digital tools has been driving the trend.


Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Women's Health

Two unmet needs in the U.S. women's health market are perinatal mental health and uninsured women. Details of these needs are below.

Perinatal Mental Health

  • According to Psychiatry Online, "perinatal mental health is a major public health issue in the United States."
  • Between 20% and 25% of all pregnant women in the U.S. experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).
  • This is especially an unmet need for new mothers, who have a PMADs prevalence rate of between 13% and 21%.
  • Additionally, new mothers under the age of 20 are specifically at risk of PMADs, as their prevalence rate is between 28% and 59%.
  • Based on studies conducted on pregnant women in the U.S., 57% of those who have experienced a major depressive episode did not receive any treatment.
  • Financial reasons are the primary driver behind this unmet mental healthcare need for women.
  • The National Perinatal Association is working to address PMADs by " increasing awareness of these health conditions, advocating for assessment and treatment, and educating policy-makers on the needs of these families."

Uninsured Women

  • The percentage of uninsured women in the U.S. represents a significant unmet healthcare need.
  • The United Health Foundation shows that 12.4% of women in the U.S. are uninsured, with this impacting racial and ethnic women, low-income women, lower-educated women, immigrant women, and single mothers more than other populations.
  • After reaching a low of 6.8% in 2016, the percentage of uninsured U.S. women almost doubled in two years.
  • The primary drivers of this unmet need are the cost of insurance, a lack of knowledge about the availability of free or reduced-cost insurance, and "falling into the coverage gap." This is where women earn too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, but are unable to afford private health insurance.
  • Texas has the most uninsured women at 25.6%.
  • Care Women Deserve is an organization that helps educate women on the availability of health insurance options.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Women's Health: Technology Trends

Technology and women’s health are merging and evolving each year as women’s needs remain a concern in the healthcare atmosphere. Femtech, or female technology, is making a larger impact on the experiences of women in healthcare. Growing trends surrounding women’s health and technology include wearables, increased personalization, and innovation in diagnostics for conditions specific to women.

Wearables for Women

  • The industry is seeing an increasing trend of wearable technology for women. US consumer use of wearables increased from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018. These electronic devices are designed to collect data to monitor the user’s health.
  • One such device for women is the Elvie, a bluetooth-linked medical device that helps train the pelvic floor and strengthen the Kegel muscles. It is used to help decrease bladder leaks and improve overall pelvic health in women. Elvie is the first wearable device of its kind.
  • Urinary incontinence is known to affect more than 15 million women in the US. According to a study by Kaiser Permanente, one-third of women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders.

AI and Personalization

  • Fertility tracking apps allow women to track their menstrual cycle. These apps use algorithms to predict fertility windows each month to help women assess their chances of pregnancy. While some apps struggle with privacy issues or inaccuracies, others are proving to be more useful.
  • Approximately 70% of women of reproductive age are at risk of unintended pregnancy. This percentage of women accounts for those who are sexually active and have no desire to become pregnant. However, they could become pregnant without the use of correct and/or consistent contraceptive methods.
  • Natural Cycles launched a fertility tracking app, which is the world’s first and only digital birth control method. The app uses patient self-reported data as well as temperature measurements to track the menstrual cycle. It was cleared by the FDA in 2018.

Telecontraception

  • The use of telehealth is expanding. According to a 2018 JAMA study, annual telemedicine visits have increased at an average annual compound growth rate of 52% from 2005 to 2014. Another study found that 63% of those using telemedicine are more likely to be women.
  • Women are now able to get birth control delivered to them. They can also ask questions about their prescription via telemedicine platforms. Nurx offers over 50 brands of birth control with a 2 to 4 day delivery time.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Women's Health: Nurse Led Innovation

Summary

Nurses are at the forefront of human-centered healthcare solutions for women's health as a primary provider who evaluates the patient's needs while applying standard medical procedures outlined by innovative technologies us as a Data Operating System. It is also important for nurses to include a gender based approach to care in order to accommodate the unique healthcare qualities of female patients.

Standard Approach to Early Induction of Labor Successfully Reduces Unnecessary Cesarean Deliveries

  • A Health Catalyst® Data Operating System (DOS™) Platform in addition to the Labor and Delivery Advanced Application were used at Gunnison Valley Hospital in Gunnison, Utah in order to improve labor and delivery performance.
  • The Data Operating System (DOS™) Platform combines data warehousing features, clinical data repositories, and health information exchanges.
  • The Labor and Delivery Advanced Application provides information about the hospital's pregnancy patients, which is especially useful for monitoring care performance and quality measure which can be used to identify opportunities for improving care in elective early induction, primary (first time) cesarean and Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex (NTSV) cesarean births.
  • By standardizing processes used for elective early induction, more women were naturally "ready" for labor and more likely to have a successful vaginal delivery, thus resulting in an 87% relative reduction in the number of elective inductions of labor prior to 39 weeks gestation.
  • Considering the fact that elective early induction can lead to more cesarean deliveries, standardizing the induction care practices led to a 61.1% relative reduction in the number of NTSV cesarean deliveries.
  • By using the DOS collaborative, data driven Labor and Delivery Platform which included collaboration between physicians, nursing leadership and quality improvement specialists, there was a further 49.2% relative reduction in primary cesarean deliveries due to decrease variation in labor and delivery care.
  • The Labor and Delivery Platform provided essential education for the nursing staff which allowed them to better address the individual needs of the laboring mother in the context of the most effective obstetrics protocol.

Heart Disease in Women: Formulating Research Questions

  • Gendered Innovations uses sex and gender analysis to enhance innovation and discovery in fields including science, engineering and medicine
  • Coronary angiography, commonly used to diagnose heart disease, is more accurate for male patients while considered ineffective in diagnosing female patients.
  • Ischemic heart disease is recently thought to be a more common diagnosis among women with chest pain, as opposed to men who more commonly have obstructive coronary heart disease.
  • Women are more likely to have open arteries while at the same time experiencing unstable angina, acute coronary syndrome, or other coronary conditions.
  • Coronary angiography is more likely to cause bleeding complications in female patients, resulting in the need to develop new angiography procedures, for example entry through the radial artery.
  • Novel techniques that can diagnose the cause of myocardial ischemia in patients with chest pain but no obstructive coronary heart disease that would be especially beneficial for women include coronary reactivity testing, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cardiac spectroscopy, advanced radionuclide imaging including positron emission tomography (PET) and perfusion stress echocardiography.
  • Chest pain is the most common symptom of heart disease for both men and women, while symptoms of nausea and jaw pain are found to be more common in female patients, despite the fact that these symptoms are commonly labeled as atypical.
  • Accurately recognizing sex differences in symptom presentation is especially important for accurate diagnosis and timely treatment for women.
  • As a result of the later stage of onset of heart disease for women as compared to men, the idea that premenopausal estrogen can protect the heart from coronary heart disease led to the estrogen hypotheses, which became challenged In 1985, when menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use was compared with patients who did not supplement with estrogen or progesterone hormone, and it emerged that MHT led to higher rates of heart disease and no long term benefits.
  • As a result of the new findings that contradicted the estrogen hypothesis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires "black box" warning on MHT products that state that they should not be used to prevent coronary heart disease.
  • As a further development for the improved care of female patients, The American College of Cardiology states that “hormone therapy and selective estrogen-receptor modulators (SERMs) should not be used for the primary or secondary prevention of CVD.”
  • Most risk factors for coronary heart disease such as age, high fat diets, obesity and diabetes are applicable to both men and women, while it has been found that the effects of smoking on increasing atherosclerosis is twice as severe for women as compared to men.
  • A key goal of continued gendered analysis in cardiovascular research is to provide healthcare professionals better guidelines to improve care for female patients.


Research Strategy

Searches for case studies from academic journals produced many pay walled and subscription only articles. In order to find open source case studies between 2017 to the present in the United States in the context of innovative human centered women's healthcare solutions, a case study from a healthcare technology company was selected, Health Catalyst, to demonstrate how technology can improve nursing care in obstetrics. A research based case study was selected from Stanford University Gendered Innovations in order to demonstrate how new methods of inclusive patient cardiac care, from evaluating patient symptoms to novel testing methods, can improve health outcomes especially for female patients.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Women's Health: Equity and Access

In America, women make up more than half of the population and are likely to have a greater life span than men. However, they face unique health challenges through their lifespans in regard to their healthcare roles in society, their physical health, and interactions with the US healthcare system. Poor maternal care in the rural areas and healthcare access inequality among LGBTQ women are some examples in women's health where there are major issues with health equity and access to care.

Rural Women Face Poor Maternal Care

Organization Working Towards Addressing this Issue

Healthcare Access Inequality Among LGBTQ Women

Organization Working Towards Addressing this Issue

  • To improve access to gender-affirming care, AMA supports public and private insurance coverage to treat gender dysphoria and also opposes health insurance discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Women's Health: Human-Centered Approach

The human-centered approach to tech design is gradually being accepted by many companies. Probably no area of product development needs human-centered design more than women's health products. Understanding why the human-centered approach to design is important, and how the human-centered and/or women-centered design approach works with women's health products, and considering two carefully designed women's health products will aid in developing a useful perspective on the human-centered approach.

Why Human-Centered Approach is Important When Designing New Tech Products for Women's Health

  • A human-centered approach helps identify risks before a product is marketed.
  • A human-centered approach helps point out opportunities for new products, new uses, and new customers.
  • A human-centered approach recognizes that women's bodies are different from men's bodies. "Women’s bodies necessitate gender-specific innovation that responds to their biological realities."
  • Up until the recent present time, gender-neutral design was the most common approach. But gender-neutral design ignores the "biological, socio-cultural, economic and environmental needs of half the population." What is needed is women-centered design that recognizes these differences.
  • One example of the negative outcomes of gender-neutral design is most safety equipment. "Ill-fitting and poorly structured safety equipment, such as oversized vests and hardhats, is a serious hazard to female employees. Designing these with women also in mind would dramatically improve female safety and productivity."
  • "Historically, females have been excluded from human and animal clinical research trials. When female animal subjects had been used, the reproductive organs were often removed to stop hormone fluctuations from affecting the results." Human-centered and/or women-centered design would change these practices.
  • Women's differing symptoms of heart attack and differing responses to drug therapies were not recognized for decades because women were excluded from medical studies. "Newsflash: the menstrual cycle is omnipresent in women’s lives, sometimes as long as 40 years throughout their lives."

How a Human-Centered Approach is Important When Designing New Tech Products Around Women's Health: Examples

  • Adopting a human-centered and/or women-centered approach to design requires empathy and iteration. Designers need to understand how a product will be used by the women who will purchase it. As they grow in understanding, designers can test their product and change aspects of it to better align with women's needs.
  • Confronting a set of four questions developed by Menstrual Health Hub before beginning the design process can drastically improve tech design.
"(1) Socio-cultural factors: What contextual beliefs or practices (political, religious, etc.) could impact how women use this product/service?
(2) Biological factors: How does the product/service account for women’s reproductive and physical functions?
(3) Economic factors: How does the price point of the product/service compare to and impact the users overall earnings?
(4) Environmental factors: What infrastructure is needed to improve women’s use or uptake of the product/service?"
  • Two companies that have taken these factors into account in designing products are Lunapads International and Genneve.
Example: Lunapads International.
  • Women-Centered Design is clear in an example of a private company in Vancouver, BC, called Lunapads International, that operates in 40 countries including the US.
  • This company is owned by women and aims to help women "have more positive and informed experiences of their period, and by extension, their bodies overall. [Lunapad's] "sustainable personal hygiene products — period panties and reusable pads — have been developed with women’s environmental concerns and socio-cultural preferences at the forefront of their design strategy."
  • Lunapads International sells comfortable, reusable panties and menstrual pads made of cloth, with no chemicals or plastic parts. The design was the result of consultation with women that took into account women's needs.
  • Lunapads International revenues have grown to $52 million, according to Zoominfo. The founder, Suzanne Siemens, reports on her Linked-In profile that the company has increased revenues by 30%. The products are sold in 40 countries, including the US (just over the border from Vancouver, BC).
  • Lunapads International allows a company in Uganda to copy its products to make them available to women with very limited incomes, and has a buy 1-give 1 initiative to help African women obtain menstrual products.
Example: Genneve
  • Human-Centered Design (and Women-Centered Design) is clear in Genneve, a start-up based in Seattle, designed to assist women in understanding menopause through an online clinic, original content, and women-designed products.
  • Founder Jill Angelo explained, "We reached out to 1,500 U.S. women and asked them what they needed as their hormones starting changing in their 40s and 50s. Their No. 1 answer was: start the conversation. I can’t even count how many women commented that they had no clue about what was going to happen when they entered this stage of life."
  • Genneve is an online medical clinic designed for women 40 and up. "We offer educational content, telehealth access to physicians and healthy products tailored to the health changes women typically go through in midlife and menopause. Women start by taking our Menopause Assessment, and based on her answers, our technology provides her with personalized health information, products and health practitioners specific for what she’s going through."
  • Genneve's initial funding was $5.3 million. There are no figures yet on revenues for 2019--the first year of operation.
  • Genneve plans to extend its "telemedicine service to all 50 states by the end of 2020 — it currently operates in 23 states — and is hiring for product development, engineering and marketing personnel. In addition to the telemedicine service and personal lubricants, Genneve also sells a magnesium supplement."

Research Strategy

An extensive search of health industry, IT industry, and women's products articles resulted in locating only one successful US-based women-centered/human-centered women's health tech product: Genneve online clinic and menopause products. Lunapads International, although not based in the US, was included in the research report because of the products' extensive US sales and the business location only 24 miles from the US border. Most of the "best" new women's health tech products discovered during our research are made outside of the US, in the UK, Sweden, and Switzerland, according to The Medical Futurist. Some of the most "popular" recent products have received negative reviews from women because women's needs were not included in the design or the products did not provide the benefits that were promised (e.g., Glow fertility tracker, Thinx menstrual underwear).
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Women's Health: Market Size

The current market size for women's health in the United States is estimated to be approximately $10.82 billion. The United States women’s health market grew at a CAGR of about 2% from 2016 to 2019.

Market Size and Historical Growth Rate for women's health in the United State

Other Helpful Findings

  • The North American market accounted for 35% of the global women’s health market in 2016.
  • In 2019, the market size for women health devices in North America was $9 billion.
  • The global women’s health market size was $40.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2020 to 2027.
  • The global women’s health market size is estimated to reach approximately $42.5 billion by 2020.

Research Strategy

While your research team was able to uncover the market size for the United States women’s health industry as of 2016 and 2017 after an exhaustive search through credible sources including market reports and press articles by reputable research firms like Grand View Research, Gold Stein Research, PR Newswire, and Forbes, we were unable to find the current market size in the public domain. The current size of the industry in the United States is locked behind a paywall.

However, we have triangulated a proxy for the current market size of the industry using information (including market size for 2016 and 2017) contained in the graph representing the growth of the United States women's health industry as shown below:

Estimation of the Market Growth Rate

From the graph, the United States women's health market is expected to experience a linear growth from 2016 to 2027. Using the values displayed on the graph (2016 and 2017 market size as starting and ending values respectively), one year (2017-2016) as the number of periods, and a CAGR calculator, we estimated the industry's year-on-year linear growth rate to be approximately 2%.

Estimation of the Current Market Size

The current market size of the industry is estimated to be approximately $10.82 billion using an Omni calculator, 2017 market size ($10.2 billion) as start value, three years (2020-2017) as the number of periods, and 2%.

Note, the screenshot of the market size and growth calculation in provided in the attached Google document.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Women's Health: Market Forecast

Our research did not find a publicly-available source of information specific to the growth of the US women's health industry, although that information does appear to be available in an up-to-date market research report. What information is available indicates that, although demand for services in this market is likely to be around 6% (if growth trends from the past seven years hold steady), market growth itself is likely to be lower than the global forecast CAGR of 4.6%.

Helpful Findings

  • The global women's health industry is forecast to grow at CAGR 4.6% in the next 7 years. According to multiple sources, North American accounts for the largest share of the market, but is not expected to see the highest regional growth, which instead is forecast to be driven by growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The YOY growth in the US market between 2016-2017 was approximately 2% ($10 billion (2016) : $10.2 billion (2017)). Graphical representation of growth projections for the next 3-5 years appear to be similarly low.
  • A study conducted in 2013 predicted a 6% increase in demand for women's health services by 2020. Given available information, including the low satisfaction and poor outcome rates of women's healthcare in the US, it is reasonable to assume that market growth will not keep pace with, or exceed, demand.
  • In 2018, the US ranked at the bottom of eleven developed countries for "women's health and women's health indicators." Concurrent with this, women in the US had the highest rate of chronic disease and significant barriers to access. Based on this, it is reasonable to assume — in the absence of a significant disruption in current trends — that the growth rate of the US regional market may be less than the global average of 4.6%.
  • In the US female population, the 65+ cohort is growing most rapidly (as compared to other cohorts), which mirrors global trends. "By 2050, that group is expected to grow by 81 percent." Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that services in the US women's health industry for this cohort will also grow more rapidly than for other cohorts.
  • The largest application segments of the US women's health industry include post-menopausal osteoporosis, at approximately one-third of the market; contraceptives, at approximately a quarter of the market; and menopause, at approximately one-fifth of the market.

Research Strategy

Our research determined that available reports about women's health in the US tend to focus on the US's comparatively poor performance and outcomes, rather than providing market analysis specific to the region. Information about the US regional growth is available in a global market research report, but the requested information was not publicly available in the summary. For this reason, we have drawn from multiple sources of statistical information about the US women's health industry and compared it to available information in reports on the global market.
Sources
Sources

From Part 04
Quotes
  • "The ongoing focused education we provide for our nursing staff has given them more confidence in managing the laboring mother, further lowering the cesarean rate. Brenda Bartholomew, RN, MSN Chief Nursing Officer"
  • "Gaining physician engagement with the standard induction protocol, and having the ability to provide meaningful feedback on compliance, has made a big impact on reducing the elective induction rate. Nona Dyreng, RN Quality Manager"
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Thinking differently about sex and gender during the design process helps identify risks & generate new opportunities"
  • "Women-Centered Design (WCD), a new concept that we at the Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub) have developed."
  • "Women’s bodies necessitate gender-specific innovation that responds to their biological realities. .. [T]here are real-world differences between being born with the reproductive organs and physiology of a what is commonly agreed upon as female, compared to male."
  • "...there is a real gap in clinical research, and health-tech innovation around female-related health needs."
  • " There are a variety of chronic diseases that are more prevalent in women that need to be managed differently than the way men manage them."
  • "..the female reproductive system is a massive market opportunity."
  • "Gender, on the other hand, refers to the ways that “being female” has a specific social meaning more broadly. Gender is about how women move, talk, dress and understand their place in the world."
  • "businesses are ignoring the risks of gender-neutral design, or the opportunity of designing gender-specific solutions to human health needs."
  • "Gender-neutral design does an injustice the complex biological, socio-cultural, economic and environmental needs of half the population."
  • "Women-Centered Design is the acknowledgement that that the female sex poses an incredible market opportunity. It implores designers, innovators and investors to drive the market in ways that are cognizant of what women need. WCD challenges them to rethink how products are marketed so that they acknowledge and respect women’s purchasing power."
  • "Innovating with Women-Centered Design in mind calls for products and services to be designed for, with, and by women based on the real pain points they experience in daily life."
  • "The benefits of Women-Centered Design. .. identifying untapped social and market opportunities around women’s bodies and lives. It also reduces the risks associated with gender-neutral design, which can result in less effective or even dangerous products for women."
  • "The early emergence of health apps, and their failure to account for women’s most important vital sign, the menstrual cycle, is another example of where gender-neutral design got it wrong. (First example: seat belts. Second example: design of cell phones for men's hands.)"
  • "And what about safety equipment? Ill-fitting and poorly structured safety equipment, such as oversized vests and hardhats, is a serious hazard to female employees. Designing these with women also in mind would dramatically improve female safety and productivity ."
  • "Historically, females have been excluded from human and animal clinical research trials. When female animal subjects had been used, the reproductive organs were often removed to stop hormone fluctuations from affecting the results. Newsflash: the menstrual cycle is omnipresent in women’s lives, sometimes as long as 40 years throughout their lives."
  • "“Women experience higher rates of adverse drug reactions than men do.”"
  • "There is wide body of research that suggests that women are disproportionally affected by side effects due to miscalculations, or limited (or non-existent) understanding of how medications will be affected by the different stages of the menstrual cycle. This is not just a matter of reproductive health but understanding how the existence of the cycle itself can impact other health issues for women."
  • "Utilizing WCD principles can fundamentally improve the design and uptake of products, services and programs. At the same time, WCD has the potential to maximise return on investment because it creates space for understanding the complex factors that impact women’s decision-making as users and consumers."
  • "One example of a company practicing WCD is Vancouver-based Lunapads, a women-owned social mission driven business that helps people have more positive and informed experiences of their period, and by extension, their bodies overall. Their sustainable personal hygiene products — period panties and reusable pads — have been developed with women’s environmental concerns and socio-cultural preferences at the forefront of their design strategy."
  • "At the Menstrual Health Hub, we have developed four principles and simple questions under each to get you started. "
  • " Socio-cultural factors: What contextual beliefs or practices (political, religious, etc.) could impact how women use this product/service? Biological factors: How does the product/service account for women’s reproductive and physical functions? Economic factors: How does the price point of the product/service compare to and impact the users overall earnings? Environmental factors: What infrastructure is needed to improve women’s use or uptake of the product/service?"
Quotes
  • "Women have long been underserved by the healthcare industry. About 65% of healthcare employees are women, but they make up only 33% of senior executives and 13% of CEOs. Male-dominated leadership has led to the overrepresentation of men in clinical trials, a lack of gender-specific medical guidelines, and a dearth of innovation in healthcare technologies specifically geared toward women."
  • "According to Frost & Sullivan, 90% of women are the primary healthcare decision makers for their households and are also responsible for 80% of family healthcare spending. Women over age 19 also spend more per capita on healthcare than men."
  • "The new sector coined “femtech” by Clue CEO Ida Tin encompasses the software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology to improve women’s health."
  • "Perhaps the best known categories of femtech are menstruation care, sexual health, fertility tracking and solutions, and pregnancy care."
  • "Big names in these areas are developing entirely new solutions such as the Flex Disc, Thinx absorbent period underwear, or the Glow fertility and ovulation tracker. While others focus on building tech platforms and subscription services to make existing products such as birth control and period products more easily accessible."
  • "Genneve is an online clinic dedicated to providing support for women entering menopause. Other companies like Madorra and MenoGeni are developing devices and pharmaceutical alternatives to help treat menopausal symptoms."
  • " Femtech startups are taking on a wide range of issues and conditions that disproportionately affect women including osteoporosis, breast cancer, autoimmune conditions, stroke, thyroid issues, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression."
  • "Elvie, a health tech hardware startup creating products like an understated wearable breast pump and a pelvic floor trainer, raised $42 million in Series B funding led by IPGL. Cora, a DTC retailer of organic period products closed $7.5 million in Series A funding. And NextGen Jane raised $9 million in Series A funding for a smart tampon that it hopes to lab test after use to identify early signs of endometriosis."
Quotes
  • "It is a series of methodologies and practices that use divergent thinking to solve for intrinsic human needs, rather than the ‘asked for’ answer,” she continued. “There are four key steps to the process: setting scope, gathering insights in context, envisioning a possible future based on those insights, and then iteratively prototyping and testing the new solution.”"
  • "So why has Allscripts decided to apply human-centered design to its EHR technology? Paul Minton, Allscripts’ vice president of product management, explains. “Allscripts has taken the view that while the user-centered design process in use by all EHR vendors today and as required by the ONC has been, in general, a step forward for delivering better designed features for clinicians, something is still missing,” said Minton."
  • "“The user-centered design process is good in building features based on personas, meaning the user type using the software like physician, nurse, registration clerk; however, what is missing is taking the entire human perspective into account. The emotions, thoughts and desires of the humans using our solutions are vital to understand in order to create products that delight.”"
Quotes
  • "We have heard the often-cited seventeen years from ‘bench to bedside’ for an innovation to make it to the front line in healthcare, yet other industries innovate rapidly. Long and costly processes for developing improvements and innova-tions, coupled with tight regulation, contribute to this lag. "
  • "Human-centered design is a method, used by every industry, that leverages empathy and prototyping as mechanisms to accelerate the innovation process. This report proposes a design methodology for improvement and innovation, employing design practices to arrive at a human-centered health system"
  • "The field of design spans an array of professional disciplines – from architecture to human factors to visual design – but is underpinned by two core practices: empathy and prototyping. Empathy involves seeing the world through the eyes of the people involved – a patient, clinician, caregiver or other important system stakeholder – to gain a deep understanding of their needs. Prototyping involves rapid iteration processes, which incorporate user feedback to ulti-mately arrive at a flexible solution.These practices are the foundation of person-centered design "
  • "Incorporate the experiences and insights of patients, citizens and the work-force in policymaking, design activities, process improvement, and innovation initiatives. All projects which result in a service experience or health outcome for a patient should involve input from both patients and providers"
Quotes
  • "“Let’s start with acknowledging that when we say healthcare consumer, we don't think of just the provider and the patient, but all of the people that are part of the health care relationship. So it's the health care provider; it's the front office staff; It's the patient; It's the patient's family members.” Changing the lens through which we see patients and caregivers is the starting point for human-centered design, a way of thinking about software-driven experiences that address both the emotional and functional needs of all stakeholders in health care."
  • "Healthcare enterprises are now recognizing that designing intuitive, engaging and seamless digital experiences is critical to not only engaging patients better in their health care, but also for improving convenience, not to mention dealing with the emerging competitive landscape."
  • "In the context of healthcare, the major EHR vendors, whose most significant competitive advantage is the high switching costs for their customers, have given little or no importance to design, and not without reason. Firstly, the healthcare sector has never had to care about user experience design – be it for caregivers or patients. Secondly, the focus of the past decade has been almost exclusively on designing systems that would enable clinical transactions to be captured in EHR systems for claiming federal financial incentives."
  • "Human-centered design stands this logic on its head; the first step of the process of designing and building any product or service now starts with the understanding of user needs that define the use cases, requirements and principles that drive all subsequent decisions from the architecture to the form factor, ergonomics and interface components, all seen through the lens of the people who are going to use it."
  • " However, human-centered design in healthcare is a multi-disciplinary practice that includes agile software development, lean methodologies, data interoperability, privacy and security and a host of other factors. Combining design effectively with tech, organizations can increase engagement, improve outcomes and reduce costs – in other words, meet the triple aim of healthcare. "
Quotes
  • "Design can help craft a standout user experience and contribute to greater awareness, use, and adherence to interventions—including both products and services—that save lives and promote well-being. However, many public health leaders are not fully aware of the value and potential of design. When applied appropriately, design can add value to global health organizations in three ways: addressing the right problem by uncovering users’ deep-rooted needs and challenges, building ownership from the start by engaging a broad set of stakeholders, and finding the right solution by being willing to fail fast."
  • "As a problem-solving approach, design can be applied at the project, program, and organization levels...."
Quotes
  • "A 1992 General Accounting Office (GAO) Report on Women's Health found extensive underrepresentation of women in all phases of drug trials and systematic exclusion of women of childbearing potential. The follow-up GAO report in 2001 showed some interim improvement insofar as women accounted for 52% of enrollment in investigational new drug trials, but their participation in Phase I and II studies was only 22%. These early investigational new drug trials, which serve the crucial role of dose-ranging and initial safety testing, become the basis for dosing in pivotal clinical trials and prescription guidelines once a drug is approved. Underrepresentation of women early in product development can result in unrecognized toxicity, ineffectiveness, drug interactions, and unexpected outcomes when the product is made available to larger populations. In this manner, women treated (after FDA approval) on the basis of dose-ranging trials that were performed predominantly in men and postmenopausal women can bear the onus of untested therapy—the outcome of which is detected only during the course of post-marketing surveillance."
Quotes
  • "Lunapads International is a women-owned social mission driven business based in Vancouver, Canada. Our goal is to help people have more positive and informed experiences of their period, and by extension, their bodies overall."
  • "We’re particularly proud of how our customers help divert twenty million disposable pads and tampons from North American landfills every year."
  • "In 1993 Madeleine Shaw, then an aspiring fashion designer, started making Lunapads in an attempt to resolve monthly bladder infections she had been suffering as a result of tampon use. In making the switch, she revolutionized her relationship with her period and was inspired to start a business. By 1999, Lunapads were available in Canadian health food stores. "
  • "Many people find plastic pads and tampons uncomfortable, expensive and environmentally destructive - over twenty billion disposable products are added to North American landfills every year. Switching to reusables is affordable, sustainable and surprisingly easy - no more monthly drugstore runs! Many users find the products more comfortable than disposables - Lunapads uses a blend of high-tech, natural and organic fabrics that keep users dry and comfortable. "
Quotes
  • "Klumpp and Grinvalds discovered Lunapads, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Lunapads was already producing a line of reusable, sustainable menstrual pads made of soft, quick-drying fleece, targeted to middle- and upper-income women seeking to keep mountains of pads and tampons out of landfills."
  • "In Uganda, women weren’t looking for a green pad, but any pad that was practical, comfortable and -- most of all -- affordable. Lunapads itself had hoped to reach women in the developing world, but its affiliated nonprofit organization, Pads4Girls, was spending nearly $80,000 a year to reach only 300 girls."
  • "Klump and Grinvalds obtained permission to copy Lunapads trademarked products and produce them locally in Uganda. The pads would be supplied to individuals and NGOs at a price of $15 for a year’s supply. That’s less than half the cost Lunapads was paying for the production of pads to distribute through Pads4Girls, and about 20 percent what Uganda girls pay for commercial disposable pads."
  • "AFRIpads launched a pilot in March of 2009 with seed capital from Bert Bolkenstein, a philanthropic investor in the Netherlands. AFRIpads bv, in the Netherlands, is majority shareholder with 70 percent ownership. Klumpp and Grinvalds are 30 percent shareholders. In December of 2013, the OPES Impact Fund made an equity investment in AFRIpads that will help the company meet its goal of reaching 500,000 women and girls by 2015."
  • "Lunapads remains a partner, and has established a buy-one, give-one model, similar to TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker eyeglasses. For every Lunapad sold, the proceeds are used to buy AFRIpads products for girls in East Africa. Since 2010, more than 120,000 pads have been donated to girls in need in 15 nations, along with health and hygiene education. Since joining forces, Lunapads’ annual revenue has climbed to more than $1 million."
Quotes
  • "Employees: 268 Revenue Revenue: $52 Million"
Quotes
  • " Co-founder and CEO Company Name Lunapads International Dates Employed Jun 2000 – Present Employment Duration 19 yrs 9 mos Location Vancouver, Canada Area "
  • "Lunapads is a vertically-integrated manufacturer and direct-to-consumer business in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that manufactures a sustainable collection of menstrual products including washable cloth menstrual pads and period underwear. As a champion of ethical and sustainable business practices as well as gender and menstrual equity, Suzanne has grown the company into a profitable multi-million dollar business with worldwide sales in over 40 countries and hundreds of retail stores across North America including Whole Foods Canada. "
  • "Highlights: - Suzanne led Lunapads to achieve multi-year 30% revenue growth while being a top 10% "Best for the World" B Corporation from 2016 - 2019. - Suzanne and Lunapads have been featured in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Globe and Mail, Refinery29, Mic.com, Huffington Post, BC Business. - Recipient of 2017 Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award the Pacific Region - Recipient of the 2008 Institute of Chartered Accountants Community Service Award"
Quotes
  • "Genneve to launch unique telehealth service for women experiencing menopause"
  • "A startup that launched two years ago to sell lubricants and provide information for menopausal women is expanding to become the first U.S. telehealth provider for women in their 40s and 50s experiencing this hormonal change. Seattle-based Genneve will begin alpha testing its telehealth service in five markets next month and plans a broad release in January 2019. “The lack of access to providers trained in women’s menopausal health is a real problem,” said Jill Angelo, Genneve founder and CEO."
  • "A national shortage of ob/gyn healthcare providers leaves many women uninformed and anxious about the effects of menopause, she said. In her market research, for example, Angelo learned that women were sometimes going to the emergency room when they mistook hot flashes for heart attacks. And every month, some 4 million people search Google for information and advice about menopause’s hormonal changes and effects, which can include vaginal dryness, anxiety and difficulty sleeping."
  • "So Genneve plans to offer a telemedicine service for women in search of one-on-one, personalized care, charging $45 per appointment. “Making experts accessible to women is something women will pay for when they need it,” Angelo said."
  • "Genneve provides a free assessment for women to identify their menopause-related symptoms. The website also features articles, podcasts, videos and webinars featuring original content and addressing physical health, sex and mental health concerns related to menopause. And Genneve still sells its own line of products to treat some symptoms of menopausal changes."
  • "Angelo started Genneve after working at Microsoft for nearly 15 years in marketing and media. While on sabbatical from the company, she reconnected with Mich Mathews, a former Microsoft manager, and Jacqui Brandwynne, a former Neutrogena executive."
  • " Genneve is an online clinic for women 40 and older. We offer educational content, telehealth access to physicians and healthy products tailored to the health changes women typically go through in midlife and menopause. Women start by taking our Menopause Assessment, and based on her answers, our technology provides her with personalized health information, products and health practitioners specific for what she’s going through. Rather than waiting months to see an ob/gyn in a traditional office visit, we offer a convenient option that brings greater access to the kind of care women in menopause need."
  • "We reached out to 1,500 U.S. women and asked them what they needed as their hormones starting changing in their 40s and 50s. Their No. 1 answer was: start the conversation. I can’t even count how many women commented that they had no clue about what was going to happen when they entered this stage of life. Coming from a marketing and storytelling background, we immediately started interviewing health providers — ob/gyns, nutritionists, physical therapists, sex therapists, mental health professionals, health coaches — to bring trusted information to women everywhere."
  • "Our ‘secret sauce’ is: Listening to our customers and earning their trust. Women’s health carries a stigma, and aging itself is not always a popular subject to talk about. So we’ve formed a community forum on Facebook called Midlife & Menopause Solutions and hold monthly webinars with our Director of Health Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su. And we listen to our 25,000 monthly users who keep searching for answers to the menopause symptoms they’re experiencing. Menopause is not a sexy topic. It’s the one thing in life that every woman experiences, but no one talks about. So we’ve modernized the conversation. We make it fun, honest, non-academic and we even laugh now and then. Most of all, we are building a trusted brand where women can bring their questions and get honest answers. The moment there is a crack in that trust, we’ve lost our north star."
  • "The smartest move we’ve made so far: Investing in publishing original content. It’s not cheap, but it’s paid off in a number of ways: 1) it’s a primary traffic driver because we capitalize on the 4 million Google searches each month on menopause symptoms; 2) our content has positioned Genneve as a thought leader in women’s health; and 3) it has created a feedback loop where women respond with their own questions and experiences, which feeds our technology and telehealth innovation."
Quotes
  • ""The more I hear from women and doctors, the more I understand that menopause is really the start of the second half of life. If we don’t take control of it now, it has the power to impact our standard of living, our families and our long-term health.”"
  • "Only 7% of women get the help they need to manage menopause symptoms. Jill and Jacqui realized they could do great things for women in menopause, and soon thereafter, Gennev was born."
  • "All the employees are women."
Quotes
  • "Genneve, a Seattle startup that runs a telemedicine service for women experiencing menopause, landed a $4 million seed round led by BlueRun Ventures. The fresh cash will be used to grow the company’s user base and geographic footprint. Maven Ventures and Startup Health also invested in the round, which brought the startup’s total funding to date to $5.3 million."
  • "Genneve debuted the telemedicine program in January as one way to address the shortage of OB-GYN providers in America. Nearly half of all U.S. counties lack a single OB-GYN provider, and the shortfall is expected to reach 8,000 in 2020, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Genneve is addressing a large and unserved market,” BlueRun Ventures managing partner Cheryl Cheng said in an email. BlueRun invests in digital health and consumer tech startups. “We are excited about the opportunity to use technology and data to help women understand and manage their health in the second half of life in a personalized way.”"
  • "The startup plans to grow the telemedicine service to all 50 states by the end of 2020 — it currently operates in 23 states — and is hiring for product development, engineering and marketing personnel. In addition to the telemedicine service and personal lubricants, Genneve also sells a magnesium supplement."
Quotes
  • "By 2020, more than 50 million women will be older than 51 years, the average age of menopause, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Close to three quarters of them will experience symptoms including hot flashes, mood changes and sleep problems that can hurt their quality of life and lead to higher healthcare costs. "
  • "“There are 34 common symptoms that women experience in menopause,” explains Angelo. “Yet, only 7% of women get the treatment they need. Our healthcare system is failing us.” "
  • "Genneve is working with North American Menopause Society (NAMS) to certify health care specialists in menopause treatment. This is includes doctors, mental health specialists, and nutrition and lifestyle oriented practitioners. "
Quotes
  • " We believe that female health topics reach far beyond such traditional issues and players should concentrate more on menopause, endometriosis, or mental health, just to name a few areas. Thus, we tried to collect companies which are on top of their game in the conventional fertility and/or pregnancy area, but also start-ups and ventures who are looking way beyond that. Here’s our guide to 10 outstanding companies in women’s health."
  • "While technology companies’ attitude towards women’s health is far from ideal – we discussed here in detail how and why period tracker apps, smart scales or fitness wearables can fail women, and especially pregnant women – we have to acknowledge the widening interest in the area. In the past three years, an estimated $1 billion has been poured into women’s health technology and the “femtech” market is expected to be worth more than $50 billion by 2025. "
  • "we decided to collect the most progressive women’s health companies out there led by inspiring women and men, and showing the way forward – so that technology will finally change into an environment which facilitates female entrepreneurship and addresses women’s issues in the right ways."