Empowering Women With Innovations in Healthcare

The Health Technology Forum celebrated “International Women’s Day” at its monthly meetup on March 26th, 2015 at Hogan Lovells LLP (Menlo Park, CA). The event primarily focused on highlighting the organizations run by women who are improving access to affordable healthcare through the development and adoption of innovative technologies that transform healthcare and improve people’s lives.

The event included three incredible panelists: Jessie Liu – Co-Founder & Medical Director, Content (Noora Health), Aarti Arianna – CEO & Founder (HeartGLO), and Geetanjali Chakraborty, Chief Ayurveda  – Consultant (Ayurveda Wellness Clinic).

The panel discussion, moderated by Eleanor Ramachandran, Business Development Manager at HTF, covered the topic of “Empowering Women with innovations in healthcare”.  The inspiring stories and experiences shared by the panelists will serve as an example to other women who want to play a role in solving healthcare problems using technology

Jessie Liu spoke on how Noora Health is making a difference in improving clinical outcomes (currently in India) by empowering patients and their caregivers with the condition specific training, knowledge, and skills from day one of the hospital visit. Through its care companion program, Noora health is solving the biggest problem faced by patient’s family members who want but don’t know how to help. This course of action not only lowers readmissions, but also reduces length of stay and significantly improves quality of care and patient satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Second panelist, Geetanjali Chakraborty from Ayurveda Wellness Clinic, spoke about the Ayurveda – a Vedic science of medicine, its positive impact on the lifestyle, and its relevance in today’s world compared to the conventional medicine. According to her, simple food and lifestyle changes could make a big difference in our health condition and help us manage it better. Ayurveda brings a great support system to the conventional medicine, where people with chronic conditions could improve their quality of life by reducing the harmful side effects or painful experiences observed with conventional medicine. For example, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy could benefit significantly from Ayurvedic lifestyle and food.

The third panelist, Aarti Arianna called her startup, HeartGLO, a methodology that gives the physiological energetic foundation to thrive in today’s world. She spoke about what we all can do in our lives for better self-care and the neuroscience that makes it possible. Health management approach provided by HeartGLO app empowers people to become one’s own health data manager since the interventions are based on self-awareness and individual qualitative data contextualized with one’s health. The benefits of resources provided by HeartGLO are applicable to all aspects of our life and health at both personal and societal level. Aarti also emphasized the benefits of adapting sustainable lifestyle changes and health habits before the start of medication on reduction in chronic diseases, cost, and adverse effects of drug therapies.

The discussion was followed by Q&A session that focused on experiences of the three women panelists in the HealthTech industry. Jessie talked about her experiences with the gender problem while operating in India in response to an experience by Noora. The discussion featured that problems with healthcare are not just a women issue, but a human issue. According to her, caregiving is primarily 70% female jobs worldwide and in India most of the caregivers are women. So it can be said that the paradigm is now shifting from top down primarily male doctor oriented care to both genders. Finally, the panelists emphasized that there is an equal need and opportunity to instill softer (feminine) skills and qualities like compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity, and care that are necessary to promote facilitation of goodwill amongst colleagues, empowering women, and building much better user experiences in healthcare and technology.

The solutions to make health care better, more accessible, and affordable for everyone shared by an all-women panelists during the event was closely aligned with the objective of the upcoming 4th Annual HTF Innovation Conference titled ‘Common Good’. The conference will revolve around next generation technology, the importance of compassion and innovation in care, best practices in public health, and community resilience.

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