PI Apparel: Spotlight on Wearable Technology

Femtech is an underfunded sector, but vital for equality and diversity, as well as being a huge business opportunity, with the market ripe for disruption. The value of the women’s healthcare industry is set to be $1.186 trillion by 2027, with chronic diseases the largest segment at $218 billion.

Join our panelists Anna Gudmundson, CEO, BioSelf Technology, Sophie Smith, Founder & CEO, Nabta Health, Anneke van Abbema, Wearable & Softgoods Designer, Ann I.D, and Hana Janebdar, Cofounder and CEO, Juno Bio, as they explore the opportunities and blockers in the development of products and services for biologically female users and discuss the experiences of female identifying founders facing systemic bias, in a conversation moderated by Thrive Wearables CEO Jacob Skinner at the recent GIANT Health event. 

PI Apparel: Spotlight on Wearable Technology

Here are some soundbites from the insightful panel discussion: Women’s healthcare is moving in the right direction, with Anneke celebrating that while she was an exception during her engineering studies 10 years ago, the teams she works with now are generally diverse, so there are a variety of experiences of gender, race, class and more contributing to the sector. But the industry has experienced a number of setbacks and systemic problems. Hana identified one such example: women being largely excluded from clinical trials until 1994. This means that women are 50-75% more likely to suffer adverse reactions to drugs – they, as well as medical devices and procedures, have in many cases not been designed for women.

The panelists agreed there needs to be an active effort to change, as there is currently a shift in conversation but this is not being reflected in the numbers. Female founders are still struggling to garner investment; Sophie posed the question ‘why do people invest in things?’ and concluded that unless individuals have struggled with or have particular interest in certain concerns, such as reproductive health, it may not be appealing enough to solve womens’ health issues. The industry needs the right investors to be in the right rooms and for the same investment channels that are available to men to be available to women. Anna believes that ‘women are judged by what they have achieved, while men are judged by their potential’. While blatantly sexist behaviour in the workplace like inappropriate comments and touch has largely stopped, the unconscious bias that is still very much present needs to change in order for female-founded companies with great products the market needs to receive the funding they deserve.

Listen in on the full conversation to learn more fascinating insights from these founders: watch the video recording here.

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