Improving women’s healthcare through Edinburgh

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As the founder of Femtech Insider, I have been following innovation in women’s health for many years and the most common question I get is, “If there was one thing you could solve in women’s health care, what would it be?” to be?”

It’s complicated.

To bring about lasting change, the proverbial village is needed to come together, which is why I think we need to devote more time and resources to development.

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An ecosystem for change

Last year, Scotland became the first country in the UK to introduce a women’s health plan and launch a concentrated effort to tackle inequalities.

“Our vision for women’s health is ambitious – and rightly so,” said Maree Todd, the then Member of the Scottish Parliament and Minister for Women’s Health and Sport. “Clearly, broader change needs to take place to ensure that all of our health and social care services meet the needs of all women, everywhere.”

In December 2021, the Campbell Report was published by a working group from across the Scottish life sciences and health tech ecosystem with the aim of exploring how to attract more private sector investment and work towards the ambition to become the fastest growing health innovation in life. science cluster in Europe.

Just last month, the Women’s Health Innovation Forum Scotland, a conference hosted by women’s health VC fund Goddess Gaia Ventures brought together stakeholders from the private sector, government, universities and research institutions to discuss how to tackle health inequalities to women’s health and other underrepresented groups in Scotland and beyond.

Opening the event, Todd encouraged collaboration, stating: “It is critical that we streamline innovation into the NHS and social care with women’s and children’s health as priority areas for innovation.”

As for the glaring disparity here at home, a recent survey of 2,000 American women conducted by Premom found that while respondents set an average of $30 per month for pads, tampons and other related products, 47% are “always” over budget.

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A blueprint for collaboration

One of the major problems, besides the lack of funding for women’s health, is a lack of inclusion of women in medical research, leading to data gaps and ineffective treatments. The lack of awareness of health issues in general, among women themselves, health care providers and those who design public policy, remains a problem.

“Together, we are working to address inequalities in all aspects of health that women face,” says Todd. “The Women’s Health Plan demonstrates our ambition and determination to see change for women in Scotland, for their health and for their role in society. Innovation and technology are the key to that ambition.”

It is now a matter of implementation, patience and funding to bring about lasting change and together create what could be a blueprint for lasting change.

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