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Women’s Health

Filling The Gap In Tech-Based Treatment For Menopause

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According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, around 6,000 women in the United States reach menopause every day. That is much. And it’s just the number in the US. Despite a boom in Femtech, not much technology has been developed aimed at women experiencing this phase of life that can last for years.

Arfa Rehman

Caria

Arfa Rehman and Scott Gorman are trying to close this gap with Caria, an app with which women can get to know and treat more than 40 physical and emotional menopausal symptoms.

“When we did our research, it was child’s play for me that this problem had to be solved,” says Rehman.

Lack of innovation

She and Gorman met while studying at Oxford University and focused on engineering products for neurocognitive disorders. During their research, they made a discovery that Rehman calls “eye-opening”: Perimenopause and menopause are biomarkers of many chronic health conditions in women later in life, such as cognitive and cardiovascular changes. “It’s a very complex and important transition for women,” she says.

However, on closer inspection, they were surprised that there was a lack of innovation and research targeting the problem, as well as the various symptoms that came with menopause, such as hot flashes and insomnia. After speaking to hundreds of women, they became convinced that new technologies needed to be developed to address these health problems. Their research found that 80% of women said their symptoms were affecting their daily life. And one in four considered leaving their jobs because they couldn’t treat their symptoms.

Scott Gorman headshot

Scott Gorman

Caria

Options available included drug approaches such as hormone therapy and a variety of nutritional supplements, an unregulated market that Rehman calls the “Wild West” situation. What was completely missing was a tech product that women could use to find out if their problems were actually caused by menopause, as there is no diagnostic test that can tell based on their profile and health status and what to do. manage their symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

With menopause affecting so many aspects of women’s health, Rehman and Gorman realized they needed an approach that combined mental, emotional, and physical health. To do this, Caria combines self-directed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques with nutritional science and exercise. Rehman says delivering it through an app is a novel approach because CBT is usually done in person (and can be very costly).

Women chat with an AI-based digital assistant about their medical history and symptoms to determine what stage of menopause they are in and provide recommendations for treatment. According to Rehman, it usually takes about four years and $ 20,000 for most women to get to this point.

Once women know which treatment is right for them, they can follow the platform’s program to reduce the severity of symptoms. There is also a health tracker to monitor symptoms. If they change, as they often do, the recommendations will be updated. And the platform has a community through which women can exchange help and support.

Free and premium versions

Rehman and Gorman founded the company in 2019 and launched a beta version of the app in 2020. It is now used by more than 50,000 women, according to Rehman. Venture backing came from Antler, Serena Ventures, Bayer, and others; Rehman has not disclosed the amount it has raised.

Some features, like the ability to get a rating or access to a limited amount of nutritional advice, are free. A premium version, launched about two months ago, offers more in-depth treatment. The company is also considering other distribution channels. For example, Rehman and Gorman recently partnered with Bayer Pharmaceuticals to explore commercial uses like combining Caria with menopausal drugs.

Women’s Health

Female-Focused Smartwatches That Look Smart Too

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From the discreetly elegant Apple Hermès with a rectangular case to the glittering Michael Kors round dial to the sporty Tag Heuer by tennis star Naomi Osaka, you might think that women have a large selection when it comes to digital watches. But Garmin, the tech giant, saw a loophole.

In January, Garmin introduced Lily, a smart-looking smartwatch. It combines what Garmin is known for – performance monitoring devices – with something the company had never tried before: a traditional, minimalist jewelry watch.

On a video call, Kirsten Erikson, Product Marketing Manager at Garmin said, “We found a niche in the market, especially for women, and realized that some hadn’t been able to choose a smartwatch because they felt it was too big and too sporty . ”Or too technical looking.” Together with a women’s team, Ms. Erikson orchestrated the production of a “fashionable-looking watch for small wrists” – a new smartwatch “for women by women,” as the company is promoting it.

After the team had put together hundreds of pictures of classic jewelry watches, the team started with a round case with a diameter of 34 millimeters – significantly smaller than current Smart models with dials over 40 millimeters in diameter. That choice posed a challenge: making small-scale tracking capabilities available and fitting into a battery that lasts five days has exceeded technical limits.

In contrast to digital dials, which turn black when not in use, Lily shows a selection of patterns that reflect the monograms of fashion houses and the guilloche dials of analog timepieces.

One touch of the screen activates a pedometer and calorie tracker, as well as tracking applications for exercises such as yoga, pilates and mindful breathing. What makes Lily stand out, however, are unexpected, women-centric features like menstrual cycle monitoring and pregnancy.

Some may raise their eyebrows at a watch that goes against the current trend towards gender neutral design, but the commercial numbers show that Garmin got that niche right. Although the company does not publish sales figures, it said well over 50 percent of Lily customers are new to Garmin. Lily’s marketing strategy to promote Lily has also helped grow the company’s overall female customer base: women buy more than half of the generic wellness watches Garmin sells.

Sarah Willersdorf, Global Head of Luxury at the Boston Consulting Group, is not surprised. In an email, she wrote that she believed the pandemic had placed an emphasis on health and wellness. Women’s health is a large and growing market, according to the Boston Group, expected to reach over $ 45 billion worldwide by 2026 – three times the size it is today.

“This growth is being driven by many factors, including a much more open discussion about women’s health – like fertility, menstruation, and menopause – and creativity in this area with a number of companies dealing with everything from tracking apps to nutritional supplements and wearables like the Garmin watch, are innovative. “Wrote Mrs. Willersdorf.

Attracting women has recently been the focus of several established analog luxury houses, including Zenith and Breitling. Garmin’s move signals that the booming wearable device market, valued at around $ 73 billion by 2022, may find additional leverage among women.

The $ 199 (Garmins can cost over $ 400) Lily comes with silicone straps in muted neutrals and pastel colors for a sportier look. More traditional leather straps (at no extra charge) are available in gray, black, and white.

On the Garmin Instagram account, a woman with the username @ mum_on_the_run_3 commented: “It’s perfect if you don’t want to give up your tracker but are looking for something more elegant for an evening or a special occasion.”

She might agree with Ms. Erikson’s opinion: “With Lily, we created the watch that women didn’t know they needed.”

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Women’s Health

Together with refugees, we build a safer and more vibrant world – World

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June 20th is World Refugee Day and this year’s theme revolves around the power of inclusion – “Healing, learning and shining together”.

Every two seconds someone is forced to leave their home to flee the crisis. At least 100 million people have fled their homes in the past ten years, looking for refugees either inside or outside the borders of their country. At the end of 2019, 79.5 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide.

This year’s World Refugee Day takes place against the backdrop of the global crisis and social change, as the COVID-19 pandemic has left few lives and places untouched. The pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerability of women and girls, who make up around half of the displaced; they are at higher risk of gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation and have difficulty accessing justice, health and emergency services.

The critical gaps in gender equality are a major driving force behind the Generation Equality Forum, which will be held in Paris from June 30th to July 2nd. The forum will announce a series of catalytic coalitions of action with acceleration plans in key areas that matter to all women and girls – from gender-based violence to climate change, technology, health and economies that leave women and girls behind.

On World Refugee Day, here are some voices from refugees and displaced people who, despite many challenges, work every day for a stronger, safer and more vibrant world. Generation Equality is #withrefugees today and every day.

Empowering women, youth and people with disabilities in Jordan

“In 2012 a bomb hit my house in Dar’aa [Syria], and with this one bomb my life completely changed, “says Ibsam Sayeed Ahmed, 40.” The current pain has turned into years of pain. I had to learn to walk again, adjust to having only one hand, to support myself and finally learn to live again. “

Ahmed fled to Jordan with her sister, but they were separated at the border amid the chaos of other fleeing people. Her sister returned to Dar’aa and was killed days later.

“I was all alone in the world,” says Ahmed.

“It was difficult to overcome all of my difficulties. My mobility wasn’t my only obstacle. To be a woman, alone in the camp, without support, was an additional burden for me. But I did it! I took every new step every day as it came and reminded myself to persevere. “

Ahmed got a position at the UN Women Oasis Center as a teaching assistant, educator and peer facilitator, which enabled her to support herself financially and to pay her medical bills. Today she actively supports women, young people and people with disabilities to stand up for their rights and to complete training.

“Empowering yourself is key to overcoming any barrier that lies in front of you. And by strengthening myself, I then had the confidence to strengthen others, ”she says.

Read more here.

Teaching girls to read and write in Bangladesh

“When I look around, I see that women and girls in the Rohingya community are treated less than men and do not have the same rights and opportunities,” says Rima Sultana Rimu, an 18-year-old peace activist at Cox’s Bazar. , Bangladesh, is home to one of the largest refugee settlements in the world.

“This year, all the problems that Rohingya girls and women face in the camps have been made much worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many girls have not attended school … Child marriages have increased in the camps and I have started a campaign to raise awareness of how harmful this can be for girls. “

When Rimu started campaigning for women’s rights, some of her family members were in opposition. They told her that she did not respect her religion and was behaving inappropriately. She carried on, determined.

“Most of the women and girls in the Rohingya community cannot read or write, so they cannot fully understand their rights,” says Rimu. “Without education, girls struggle to become economically empowered, which means that they can never determine their own future. Teaching girls to read and write is one of the greatest ways I can make a difference. “

“I feel very positive and strong. I love this job and have big plans for myself, ”she says. “Maybe one day I’ll even become Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Why not? I will not stop until every woman and girl is aware of their rights and can live happily and safely on an equal footing. “

Read more here.

The power of sport to change the lives of refugees in Luxembourg

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Yonas Kinde has been swapping the cheers of international races for the sounds of nature during early morning runs in the forest near his home in Luxembourg.

Five years after participating in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio as part of the very first refugee Olympic team, Kinde is now adapting his training to his other responsibilities – studying pharmaceutical logistics and working in a hospital pharmacy that distributes Covid19 vaccinations. “In this difficult moment, it makes me happy that I can help that I can do something for the COVID patients,” he says.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, displaced doctors, nurses and pharmacists like children have worked on the front lines to contain the spread of the virus, treat patients and help people get vaccinated. But long-distance running remains a child’s passion. He rarely spends a day without training.

On World Refugee Day, UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, calls on communities and governments to include refugees in health care, education and sport. Giving refugees the opportunity to exercise can help them gain confidence and feel welcome and accepted in their new communities.

“I’ve met a lot of important people in my life thanks to sport,” he said. “Sport has given me a family, not just in Luxembourg, but all over the world.”

Working at the forefront of COVID-19 prevention in Uganda

In the Bidibidi refugee and displaced persons settlement in the Yumbe district of Uganda, the morning sun is hot as early as 9 a.m. A standing group of women gather around a borehole to collect water. You will repeat this task again in the evening.

40-year-old Joyce Maka is waiting for more women to arrive at the water collection point. The mother of three is a refugee herself; She came from South Sudan in 2018 after the rebels killed her husband. Today she is one of the 12 peace mediators in the settlement and is here to raise awareness of preventive and health protection measures to combat COVID-19.

“We encourage them to stay at least two meters apart; we also encourage them to wash their hands before and after pumping water, ”explains Maka.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rose in Uganda, peace mediators, who resolve community disputes and challenges, joined the fight against the pandemic in refugee settlements in the Yumbe and Adjumani counties, which border South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They meet on the street for personal conversations and ensure that every household has a hand-washing area, clean shelves for storing utensils and access to toilets.

Read the story here.

Example of solidarity in Turkey

Najmat Alsabah Mustafa is a Syrian community leader in Gaziantep, Turkey. As part of the “Home to Home Solidarity Program”, which is jointly run by UN Women and the Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (KEDV), she learned leadership skills and now helps vulnerable Turkish and Syrian women with access to health care, legal aid and psychosocial services Social assistance and livelihood.

Between December 2019 and April 2020, Mustafa and her colleagues visited 764 Syrian and Turkish women. However, when COVID-19 prevention measures made home visits difficult, community leaders began using their phones to keep in touch with vulnerable women and provide assistance when needed.

“Through phone calls, I discovered that Syrian women’s housework doubled during COVID-19,” says Mustafa.

“I speak to a lot of women who are over 65 years old. They tell me how the situation affected them psychologically. We support each other through the solidarity groups. Women talk about their needs and problems and together we try to find solutions. We also share our own experiences and ideas on how to share housework among family members, ”she adds.

“As women, we are among the most severely affected by COVID-19 in our community. Due to community pressure, many cannot complain about their conditions. Thanks to the program, we can reach women and ensure that their voice is heard by relevant institutions. “

“If we support each other, we can overcome all challenges,” added Mustafa.

Read more here.

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Women’s Health

Rep. Chu reintroduces women’s rights bill

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Abortion is back on the agenda in Congress after the Supreme Court announced it will hear a major contest on abortion law this fall. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on a law that establishes the right to abortion under federal law in all 50 states, regardless of what the court decides.

At the hearing, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, said 2021 was well on the way to having the toughest abortion restriction in decades.

Democrats expressed concern over how the Supreme Court’s new six-member Conservative majority has agreed to open the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case in their next term starting in October. That concern is also reflected in pro-choice organizations like the Center for Reproductive Rights, where Jackie Blank, the federal legislature strategist, fears that the outcome of this case could ultimately harm women.

What you need to know

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on a law establishing the right to abortion
  • The Democrats have expressed concern over how the Supreme Court’s new six-member Conservative majority has agreed to take over Dobbs v Jackson in the next term, which could topple Roe v Wade
  • Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, reintroduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, but anti-abortion advocates say it violates state rights
  • Chu said she at least hopes WHPA will raise awareness of the threats facing abortion law in the country

“Access to abortion is a matter of racial justice, reproductive justice, gender justice and economic justice,” said Blank.

The Mississippi case could ban most abortions in the states after 15 weeks of gestation and would serve as a catalyst for other states to do the same. Roe v. Wade, the groundbreaking ruling that establishes a woman’s right to vote, allows abortions for up to 24 weeks and says a fetus will not be viable before that.

“The fact that [justices] picked it up is alarming, and so if Roe is overthrown, 24 states could act almost immediately to ban abortions and that is a real possible outcome of this case that Roe overturned, ”Blank said.

In response, California lawmakers are preparing to undermine abortion law. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, reintroduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, a law that would guarantee the right to abortion. It was first introduced in 2013. Chu said it was originally created for a moment like this.

She is supported by Blumenthal and others, including Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

“This is the most supported pro-choice bill we’ve ever had in Congress history,” said Chu.

But anti-abortion advocates said Chu’s legislation violates state rights.

Right to Life’s Mary Rose Short regularly puts up pictures for women to see outside of abortion clinics in California to educate them about the procedure. She says if choice is the main argument, Chu should allow states to make their own laws.

“It is a wise attempt to undermine the rights of states so that anyone can sue. Overthrowing Roe is restoring the right to states, ”said Short.

Short said even if Roe is overthrown, she knows states controlled by Democrats like California won’t see immediate changes, but she hopes this case, over time, will start weakening abortion rights even in places like California could mean.

“California has the opportunity to observe the very strict abortion laws in other states. We will be able to see if what we have been told by the abortion industry and abortion politicians is actually true, that women will be hurt, ”said Short. “That will give California an opportunity to see this firsthand and then maybe vote to change and restrict abortion in California.”

Chu said if Roe were seriously weakened or upset, women could travel to California to gain more freedom with their reproductive health.

“Then more women would be forced to use their services in California,” said Chu. “Those on low incomes, how can they afford it? So we know this should be the choice of women, no matter where they live, no matter what their zip code is, and that’s why we’re pushing this so hard.

Chu acknowledged that the Women’s Health Protection Act has little chance of getting through the equally-controlled Senate, but she hopes it will at least draw attention to the threats facing abortion law in the country.

The closest states to California that could potentially immediately restrict abortion include Utah and Idaho, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights data. These two states are among the dozen that have so-called “trigger bans,” meaning that if Roe were lifted, new abortion restrictions would automatically come into effect.

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