Women's Health Month is an important reminder of the critical need to prioritize and champion women's health and wellbeing on a global scale. We’re in a pivotal moment, where the world is coming to terms with the importance of gender equality. At this time the United Nations' call to "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress" resonates more powerfully than ever before.

Women's health encompasses not only physical wellness but also the intricate interplay of social, economic, and cultural factors that shape women's lives. The UN's initiative to invest in women advocates for comprehensive strategies that address the multifaceted dimensions of women's health, from access to healthcare and education to economic empowerment and reproductive rights.

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of the UN's initiative in the context of women’s health as well as investing in female-founded companies. We'll delve into the challenges faced by women globally, highlight pioneering companies dedicated to women's health, and celebrate the remarkable endeavors of women-funded enterprises. Through this exploration, we'll uncover the transformative potential of investing in women's health, not only for individual wellbeing but also for the collective advancement of societies worldwide.

The UN's Initiative: Invest in Women

In this day and age, the urgency of achieving gender equality has become increasingly evident. Across communities worldwide, the rights of women and girls stand as pillars for fostering prosperous economies, equitable societies, and a sustainable future for generations to come.

One of the key challenges in achieving gender equality by 2030 (one of the UN's SDG) is the shortage of financial resources. There exists an annual deficit of a staggering USD 360 billion in funding for measures aimed at promoting gender equality, this casts a shadow over the ambitious goals set forth.

On International Women’s Day, the United Nations rallied behind the call to “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. Investing in women is considered a human rights issue. Progress for women benefits us all.

In line with this initiative we want to spotlight the White House’s important executive order on advancing women’s health and research. You can read it here.

Challenges in Women's Health

Women face many challenges and disparities that stand in the way of their well-being and hinder their access to essential healthcare services. These challenges encompass a wide range of issues, some of them are:

Access to Healthcare

Despite significant strides in the delivery of healthcare, getting access remains a prevalent issue for so many women around the world. Structural barriers such as geographic remoteness, socioeconomic status, and cultural norms often conspire to limit women's access to quality healthcare services. As a result, millions of women struggle with unmet healthcare needs, this leads to disparities in health outcomes and exacerbating existing inequalities.

Maternal Health

Maternal health remains a pressing concern, particularly in regions with limited access to obstetric care and skilled healthcare providers. Preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth continue to claim the lives of far too many women, highlighting the urgent need for investment in maternal healthcare infrastructure, prenatal care, and skilled birth attendance. Ensuring safe motherhood is not only a matter of reproductive health but also a fundamental human right.

Reproductive Rights

The autonomy to make decisions about one's reproductive health is a cornerstone of women's rights, yet millions of women face barriers to accessing comprehensive reproductive healthcare services. Issues such as restricted access to contraception, inadequate family planning education, and coercive reproductive practices undermine women's ability to make informed choices about their bodies and futures. Upholding reproductive rights is essential for promoting women's health, dignity, and agency.

In confronting these challenges, it is imperative to adopt a holistic approach that addresses the intersecting factors shaping women's health outcomes. By recognizing and addressing the multifaceted nature of women's health disparities, we can move closer to realizing a world where every woman enjoys the right to health, dignity, and well-being.

Women's Health Companies

In the women's health and wellness space, a wave of innovation and dedication is sweeping across industries, driven by a profound commitment to advancing the well-being of women everywhere. From groundbreaking medical technologies to holistic wellness solutions, a diverse set of companies has emerged, each with a singular focus on addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by women.

These notable companies stand as beacons of progress and empowerment, they offer a range of products, services, and initiatives aimed at enhancing women's health outcomes. With a blend of scientific expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and a deep understanding of women's health issues, these are some of the companies that are reshaping the landscape of healthcare and wellness.

The first and only healthcare service to scientifically prove menstrual blood can test for critical health information.

Myri Health
Evidence-Based Postpartum App and Community. They help mothers by offering delivery-based recovery workouts, feeding, diaper logging, diastasis recti management and more.

Davinci Wearables
DaVinci Wearables’ smart technology tracks cycle, bloating, and crucial aspects of female body physiology, providing users with valuable data enabling peak performance. Our team is proud to have collaborated with this remarkable startup. You can read more about it here.

A non-invasive cervical cancer diagnostic patch. The diaPatch™ is a novel microneedles patch that detects cervical cancer biomarkers.

LactApp is a mobile app that’s dedicated to breastfeeding and motherhood. All features are open and available to all mothers worldwide.

Lasa health
Lasa Health uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to screen patients for the potential causes of chronic pelvic pain. Their platform provides personalized recommendations for physicians to review and discuss with patients.

Caria collaborates with top healthcare experts and academic advisors to incorporate the latest research-based evidence on menopause. It lets you connect with other women and with experts in a supportive space.

Mental Health Support Designed for Fertility, Pregnancy and Postpartum. On their platform you get personalized perinatal-informed emotional support from their mental health coaches.

Ciconia Medical
Ciconia Medical introduces the first medical device to replace the vaginal exam every woman goes through during labor. Their device allows a safe, gentle and accurate process for an improved women’s labor experience and outcomes.

Women-Funded Companies

The role women play in the landscape of entrepreneurship and venture capital is just as important. As agents of change and catalysts for progress, women entrepreneurs and leaders are redefining success, challenging conventions, and reshaping industries with their unique perspectives and bold visions.

From breaking down barriers to fostering inclusive ecosystems, women bring invaluable contributions to the table, enriching the entrepreneurial landscape and propelling forward-thinking ventures to new heights of success.

And we want to make sure to highlight the fact that women don’t just have to lead femtech companies. Through the lens of empowerment and opportunity, we want to spotlight companies founded or led by women in other areas of healthcare and wellbeing.

Survivor Plan - Founded by Elaine Warren
SurvivorPlan is a next generation solution for cancer care management. It enables cancer centers to assess each patient’s unique needs, address those needs, and provide personalized care plans for individual cancer patients, survivors, and their care teams.

Wellio Health - Founded by Sabrina Braham
Wellio’s mission is to bring the promise of technology to child and family health by bridging the gap between trusted pediatricians and their digital native patients. Wellio is an online marketplace where parents, pediatricians and caregivers can find, explore and access digital health and wellness tools designed with the needs of children and families in mind.

Flourish - Co-founded by Xuan Zhao, Tianyi Xie and Julie Cachia
Flourish is founded by a team of mission-driven scientists, designers, and technologists. It’s a science-based AI coach for emotional wellness and personal growth. We’ve proudly collaborated with this amazing startup, you can read more about it here.

xSensa Labs - Founded by Natasha Kovacevic
xSensa Labs, based in Ontario and California, develops brainwave training technology that optimizes human performance. With its mobile engine, xSensa leverages neuroscience research and computational methods developed over years.

Dance4Healing - Founded by Amy Li
In Dance4Healing, AI is used to recommend music, dance, and groups based on emotion and condition, while behavior design and gamification help encourage learning. It includes a home training program with movement feedback, a mobile application to continue the healing process, and a platform for building a community around music and dance therapy.

Keva Health - Founded by Jyotsna Mehta
Keva Health is a pioneering remote patient monitoring solution designed to empower asthma and COPD patients and improve their overall health outcomes. Combining a user-friendly mobile application, advanced spiro-oximeters, and a secure cloud-based infrastructure, Keva Health enables real-time monitoring of respiratory health indicators. This allows for early intervention and proactive management of symptoms, reducing the risk of exacerbations and hospitalizations

Imago Rehab - Co-founded by Kristin Nuckols
Harvard University's Imago Rehab program provides comprehensive and specialized rehabilitation for stroke survivors who are experiencing lasting physical effects. The Imago Rehab program offers a range of benefits designed to improve limb function, promote independence, and facilitate mobility during the recovery process.

ConchaLabs - Founded by Amy Li
ConchaLabs offers low-profile hearing aids in four colors to match your hair color or skin tone. Their hearing personalization technology called Soundscope® allows for true personalization. Users are capable of adjusting their settings based on how they hear,

Blackbird Health - Co-founded by Amy Edgar
Kids and young adults facing social, developmental, and school-related challenges can benefit from this virtual-first model of mental health care. Taking the guesswork out of diagnosis and treatment, Blackbird Health strives to achieve better outcomes, faster.

Bright therapeutics - Co-founded by Jenna Tregarthen
As a mission-driven company, Bright Therapeutics pioneered a new approach to delivering technology-enhanced behavioral health treatments. By enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment teams, their platform propels people forward in their healing.

Women's Health Month made us reflect on the multifaceted discussions surrounding the UN's initiative to "invest in women" and the remarkable strides made by women's health and women-funded companies. One thing that is evident is that the power of collective action and unwavering commitment to advancing women's health and empowerment knows no bounds.

This is fueled by a shared vision of a world where every woman has access to quality healthcare, enjoys autonomy over her body and decisions, and thrives in an environment that nurtures her well-being and potential. From the groundbreaking initiatives of the UN to the endeavors of women-led enterprises—it is evident that our collective efforts are not only reshaping the landscape of women's health but also rewriting the narrative of possibility and progress for generations to come.