Experts highlight failings and the path forward in women’s health diagnostics

Experts highlight failings and the path forward in women’s health diagnostics

In a panel discussion diving into the diagnostics landscape for women’s health, key leaders involved shared their messages on the failings and shortcomings in the sector.

In the panel event hosted at HLTH Europe, titled: ‘Mind the gap: Why diagnostic disparities damage women’s health’, experts highlighted the importance of early prevention, value-based care and leveraging innovative diagnostic tools like menstrual blood.

Sara Naseri, Co-founder and CEO of Qvin, discussed the untapped potential of menstrual blood in diagnostics. Throughout the talk, she exclaimed passionately about the failures of society and industry in shaming and hiding such a powerful tool. She left an interesting final message to audiences: “I think it’s important to remember that it wasn’t until the 1990s that women were even included in medical research and not until recently that female voters were included in drug development. As a field, within healthcare, Women’s Health is just behind, and we have to catch up.

“We need to look for where women have an advantage. We believe that advantage is the block that we’ve been going up every month, that could in fact be a way to accelerate the participation or visitation in clinical research and actually close the gender data gap. We are making strides in really starting to break down the barriers in realising that a period is not a waste product, and in fact, an incredible opportunity.”

Caroline Mitterdorfer, CEO and Co-founder of Levy Health, discussed women’s health diagnostics from the perspective of a German-based entrepreneur, she said: “I can continuously say that, unfortunately, the European Union countries are still not there yet in my opinion. I’m not saying that the US is so much better in terms of healthcare, clearly not and we all know that, but I think one thing the US is looking at which is quite promising is value-based care. It’s actually giving the provider a slice of the cake if they are treating, healing or bringing down the costs. I think this has huge potential and encourages providers in looking for diseases and diagnostics, and providing early treatment, rather than just having that typical fee-per-patient mentality that we’re currently seeing in the European Union.”

Frank Hoffmann, Founder and CEO of discovering hands, remarks on breast cancer detection specifically: “I hope that everyone, including employers and especially the women themselves, realise that effective early detection of breast cancer saves lives and it’s better to find these small tumour sizes than big ones. I hope that that will lead women to a proactive preventative action and they overcome all the fears which are associated with screening programmes. You [the women] can do something for yourself. And I hope that will lead you to all the preventive instruments which are on the market.”

Sofiane Bendifallah, Professor of Gynaecology and Surgery at the American Hospital of Paris, closed with his statement: “We need to listen; to have empathy and this is moving me to share with you because if we have more empathy embedded in our hospital and doctors, we can be better. Lastly, we have to ensure the accuracy of technology and use it to do better, higher and faster diagnostics for women’s health.”

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