Many aspects of women’s health are plagued by taboos and shame. From periods to miscarriages, women are taught to deal with their challenges in silence.
According to a survey by Plan International, more than 1 in 3 boys think periods should be kept a secret. In certain parts of Nepal and Vanuatu, women are considered “unclean” and expected to keep away from others during their periods. Dr Zeynep Gurtin, a sociologist at UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health, states that a majority of women she has interviewed were forced to deal with miscarriages in silence and face societal pressure to carry on without support.
The perpetual cycle of shame and taboo have increased the care gap tremendously. Enter FemTech – coined by a Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin in 2016, this revolution focuses on catalysing positive societal change to ensure equitable healthcare access to women. In this series, we showcase ground breaking FemTech companies that are challenging taboos and paving the path for many women in Singapore.
1) Ferne Health (fernehealth.com)
Ferne Health is a telemedicine company that provides a range of services for women: from secure tele consultations to home-based hormone & fertility tests, the company aims to normalise female health & wellness. The firm also regularly uses social media channels such as Instagram to raise awareness on women’s health to educate the public and dismiss myths.
2) EloCare (elo.care)
Medtech company EloCare has piloted wearable devices to aid women in tracking menopause symptoms. Major biomarkers are used to detect detrimental issues on a timely basis to tailor care and support. The founder remarked that 75% of menopausal women experience symptoms that can contribute to cardiovascular diseases – however, misdiagnosis and lack of awareness are common.
3) Inex Innovate (inex.sg)
Inex Innovate specialises in molecular diagnostics and aims to provide rapid cancer and fetal genetic disorder diagnostic capabilities for mothers and other females. With precise technology, the company aims to empower women to own their maternal and personal health and address unmet needs in their healthcare journeys.
This article is part of the Social Impact column by the Social Impact subcommittee that focuses on social causes concerning women and children. Click here to learn more about the subcommittee and its initiatives.
Author: Nithya Karthikeyan