On Friday, December 17th, HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Initiative will host its fourth annual Women’s Health Tech (WHT) Challenge, where 8 promising femtech founders will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges in an effort to discover the next wave of innovation that can address the unmet needs within women’s health.
The HITLAB WHT Challenge began in 2018, focusing on emerging technology applications and systems that improve medical care and the provision of healthcare among women worldwide.
“The Global market for Women’s Health products and services is growing tremendously and expected to top $56.8 billion in the next five years,” says Susan Solinsky, Director of the HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Initiative, Chief Growth Officer, Ellipsis Health and Host of the WHT Challenge. “Each year, HITLAB invites innovators, entrepreneurs and startups to propose novel concepts that can help solve the problems of women and we look forward to honoring these innovators that are here to transform the future of Women’s Health.”
This year’s eight WHT Challenge innovators were nominated by a panel of 20 screening judges and include:
- HerhealthEQ, Melissa Fayer, CEO and Co-Founder
Provides women in developing economies with life-saving access to medical equipment that detects, prevents, and treats non-communicable diseases to empower women to live long, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
- Vitala Global, Roopan Gill, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Dedicated to guiding women and girls living in challenging settings through a safe
self-managed abortion and contraception journey. Their digital platform, Aya Contigo is an offline mobile application, with opt-in Whatsapp notifications to support users up to one month after an abortion and a virtual care support team to answer questions for each and every user.
- Whispa, Morenike Fajemisin, Founder and CEO
A mobile app that offers women private or anonymous telehealth consultations, affordable contraceptive counselling and services, cervical cancer screening and vaccination, comprehensive STD tests and more. Goal is to help young people to manage their sexual and reproductive healthcare without shame, judgment, or stigma.
- Mammha, Maureen Fura, Co-Founder and CEO
An enterprise platform that provides in-office and remote maternal mental health screening and care coordination. Mammha’s technology helps expedite connections between patients and an extensive internal network of global mental health professionals, treatments, and resources to help match women with appropriate care.
- Aila Health, Rory Stanton, Founder
Provides a virtual, precision health clinic for autoimmune diseases. Aila’s data-driven platform helps women track their symptoms and data to identify their own unique baseline, receive personalized insights about what is triggering their flares and connect with their care providers and patient community.
- Gabbi, Kaitlyn Christine, Founder and CEO
Provides app that helps identify those who are most at risk for breast cancer, predicts their 2-year risk and equips them with an action plan and community support.
- Univfy, Mylene Yao, MD, Co-Founder and CEO
Offers a highly scalable AI/machine learning platform that gives accurate and personalized patient reports that fertility specialists use to counsel patients about their treatment options, enabling women and couples to access the best treatment without wasting time or money.
- Oova, Aparna (Amy) Divaraniya, PhD, Founder and CEO
A fertility translator that fully illuminates fertility, giving women the clearest steps to conception. Oova’s at-home urine test measures both luteinizing hormone and progesterone to inform a woman of her most fertile days and confirm that she released an egg this cycle.
These companies fall into various stages of funding: Non-Profit, Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A. Each will present their solution to a panel of judges, who will determine the 1st and 2nd place winners in each category. The Judges include: Becca Shmukler, Venture Capital Investor at Laerdal Million Lives Fund, Ella Seitz, Partner at Esplanade HealthTech Ventures, Casey Santiago, Venture Partner at SteelSky Ventures, Perry Clarkson, Principal at SJF Ventures and Buffy Alegria, Managing Partner, SteelSky Ventures. All of the FemTech leaders will be given prizes.
The event is open to the public and free of charge. You can register here to join on December 17th.
About the HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Initiative
Established in 1998, HITLAB is a leading evidence-based, healthcare innovation lab specializing in the delivery of world-class digital health research and education. The WHTChallenge is a part of the HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Inititiative, which sits at the intersection of women’s health and technology. Founded in 2018, the WHTI is on a mission of addressing the unmet health needs of women globally through evidence-based digital technology and increasing gender equity in technology and venture. WHTI an open organization that is free to join. Contact Womenshealth@hitlab.org for more information on joining, mentoring, speaking, and sponsoring.