Finalists present their FemTech Women’s Health Innovations on
Pitch Day, Thursday, Dec. 5, in NYC. Mitigating
discomfort and improving diagnostic accuracy and outcomes are the overarching
goals of the four projects selected to compete in the 2019 Autumn HITLAB
Women’s Health Tech Challenge. The finalists’ winning innovations were designed
to treat different conditions in the women’s health spectrum: fertility,
long-term breastfeeding, pelvic organ prolapse, and endometriosis.
team is now in the running for the $10,000 first-place prize, to be awarded at
Pitch Day on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the SAP.iO Foundry in New York’s Hudson
Yards. All four teams will compete for other awards (described below) from
McKinsey & Company, Horizon Government Affairs, and the HITLAB Breakthrough
Alliance, as well as incredible exposure and networking opportunities with
HITLAB and high-profile sponsors. All are welcome, tickets
available at www.hitlab.org/world-cup.
are the four finalists and the health issues they aim to address based on their
Kegg , San
- The Problem: In the
U.S. alone, infertility affects 1 in 10 women—6.1 million—and the number is
rising. Moreover, usage of hormonal contraception is on the decline by 11% year
after year due to 70% of women reportedly suffering from side effects. Many
current fertility monitors focus on side effects that may or may not correlate
with what is happening inside a woman’s body.
- The Solution: The
inaugural product from a women-centric company, Kegg is a fertility kegel
device that collects and analyzes previously difficult-to-attain data from a
woman’s cervical fluid to better diagnose and monitor fertility cycles. The
device may quadruple the chances of natural conception and replace the pill for
LuulaTech’s LuulaPump, Brooklyn, NY
- The Problem: The
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies are fed breast-milk
until two years of age. Most mothers try it, but by 6 months, 75% feed formula
to babies. Existing breast pumps are in part to blame. Most lactating mothers
consider them essential, but also conspicuous, uncomfortable, unintuitive,
painful, isolating and degrading.
- The Solution:
LuulaPump by LuulaTech is a revolutionary science-based wearable pump: spill
proof, dishwashable, and intuitively used with one hand, allowing gentle and
discreet pumping in public and in any position. Instead of repackaging existing
technology, LuulaTech stepped back and redesigned the pump based on
breastfeeding science and with an emphasis on a mother’s experience.
Reia Health, Hanover,
- The Problem:
Prolapse, a condition affecting 50% of women over the age of 50 to some degree,
is characterized by weakened pelvic floor muscles that allow the uterus to
descend and, in extreme cases, protrude outside the body. Current non-surgical
treatment options are painful or impossible for women to use without the
assistance of a practitioner, limiting women’s independence and requiring
regular time-intensive and costly doctor appointments.
- The Solution: Reia is
developing a novel collapsible pessary that is designed for comfort and enables
women to self-manage their prolapse. Alongside this pessary, Reia plans to
launch a digital platform to further enhance personalized care.
Diagnostics’ Endo-Tek , Hammondsport,
- The Problem:
Endometriosis, a fertility problem affecting 10% of all women, costs the U.S.
health system more than $15 billion and continues to be under treated and
misdiagnosed in adolescent girls because the current diagnosis is an invasive
and costly laparoscopy. Adolescents with endometriosis have an earlier age at
menarche, and longer diagnostic delay, resulting in poorer quality of life.
- The Solution:
Oratel’s ENDO-Tek is the only saliva-based, easy-to-use, low-cost diagnostic
for endometriosis that gives instant results at the time of testing and through
a proprietary phone-based app, links the patient to a specialist who counsels
on next steps. The technology has demonstrated over 84% sensitivity and up to
92% specificity in three studies.
“We were thrilled with the high-quality submissions we received for the 2019 Autumn Women’s Health Tech Challenge,” said Savira Dargar, Challenge Director. “Judging was intense but in the final analysis, these four disruptors showed the strongest promise of empowering women to improve their health outcomes in cost-effective ways.” Applications were evaluated on impact, innovation, sustainability, feasibility, team and quality of work.