Connect with us

Women’s Health

Patently harmful: Fewer female inventors a problem for women’s health

Published

on

Need is the father of invention, but where is its mother? According to a new study published in Science, fewer women hold biomedical patents, which translates into fewer patented technologies targeting women’s problems.

While there are well-known prejudices that limit the number of women in science and technology, the consequences extend beyond the gender gap in the labor market, say researchers at McGill University, Harvard Business School and the Universidad de Navarra in Barcelona. Demographic inequalities when it comes to who can invent leads to demographic inequalities among those who benefit from inventions.

“Although the proportion of women in biomedical patents has risen from 6.3% to 16.2% in the last three decades, the men as patent holders are still significantly stronger than the women. As a result, healthcare inventions tended to focus more on the needs of men than women, “says co-author John-Paul Ferguson, associate professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.

The inventor Gender Gap inventor

To determine which inventions are female, male, or neutral, the researchers analyzed 441,504 medical patents filed between 1976 and 2010 using machine learning. They show that patented biomedical inventions by women are up to 35% more likely to benefit women’s health than biomedical inventions by men. These patents are more likely to relate to diseases such as breast cancer and postpartum preeclampsia, as well as diseases that disproportionately affect women such as fibromyalgia and lupus.

While inventions by women are more geared towards women, such patents were rarer because so few inventors were women. Overall, only a quarter of all patents submitted in the reporting period listed women as co-inventors.

The researchers found that women scientists are 40% less likely to commercialize their research ideas than scientists. The causes of this gender gap are many, from differences in care to distortions in the early feedback women receive when trying to commercialize ideas geared towards women.

“Our results suggest that the gender gap between inventors since 1976 is partly responsible for thousands of missing inventions with a woman focus. Our calculations suggest that if male and female inventors were equally represented during this period, there would have been another 6,500 more women-focused inventions, “says co-author Rembrand Koning, assistant professor at Harvard Business School.

Gender bias in biomedical innovations

The results show that inventions by research teams composed mainly or entirely of men are more likely to be geared towards the medical needs of men. In 34 of the 35 years from 1976 to 2010, male-majority teams produced hundreds more inventions that focused on the needs of men than those that focused on the needs of women.

Male inventors also tended to target diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s and sleep apnea that disproportionately affect men. Overall, the researchers found that from 1976 to 2010, biomedical invention focused more on the needs of men than women in teams of inventors of all genders.

Advantages when more women invent

The researchers also found more subtle benefits when more women invent. Women inventors are more likely to see how existing treatments for non-gender-specific diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes and strokes can be improved and adapted to the needs of women. They are also more likely to test whether their ideas and inventions affect men and women differently: For example, whether a drug has more undesirable side effects in women than in men.

“Our results suggest that increased representation should address these invisible distortions,” says Koning.

###

About this study

“Who are we inventing for? Women’s patents are more focused on women’s health, but few women can invent” by Rembrand Koning, Sampsa Samila, and John-Paul Ferguson was published in Science.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba6990

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is regularly ranked as one of the top universities both nationally and internationally. It is a world-famous university with research activities at two locations, 11 faculties, 13 vocational schools, 300 courses and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 doctoral students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, with 12,800 international students making up 31% of the student body. Over half of McGill students report a mother tongue other than English, including around 19% of our students who report French as their first language.

https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of press releases sent to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of information via the EurekAlert system.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Women’s Health

Program focused on women vets health care could become mandatory for transitioning troops

Published

on

Following a proposal proposed by Congress to ensure women get the information they need about post-military health support services, transition into health care training could become a requirement for women service members leaving their ranks.

“It should be a compulsory program where female veterans can come together and talk about some of their problems in a safe place so that the Department of Defense and their military departments understand what their problems might be,” said Rep. Julia Brownley. D-California, on Tuesday.

“I think one of the problems is that women don’t even know about the program or have access to the program. And certainly, if it is not compulsory, you might miss it completely. “

TIED TOGETHER

Your comments came at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on available support services for female troops and veterans.

As part of the discussion, panel members praised the transition to women’s health training program jointly run by VA and Defense Department officials over the past three years to provide more targeted information on post-military health care and support services.

But despite good reviews of the program so far, the panel’s lawmakers said they felt more needs to be done to promote it to ensure that female veterans are aware of it and have access to training.

Only about 37 percent of all female veterans in America are enrolled in VA health programs, according to a Congressional Research Service report earlier this year. For comparison: around half of all male veterans are enrolled in the system.

Health care officials have said that in transitioning from military life, it is critical to ensure veterans know and understand their available benefits – especially medical care – how to access them, and offer solutions to challenges such as financial problems, mental health issues, and thoughts of suicide .

Only about 1,500 female service workers have completed the Women’s Health Transitioning Training in recent years, which is currently a self-directed online course offered through the Transition Assistance Program. Of this group, 54 percent chose to enroll in VA health care after completing the course.

Lawrencia Pierce, assistant director of VA’s Office for Outreach, Transition and Economic Development, said officials plan to expand the program in the coming months to include virtual instructors to allow for greater engagement and feedback from course participants.

But William Mansell, director of the Defense Support Service Center, said officials hadn’t thought of making the course compulsory for women who are leaving the military because they prefer to keep the transition classes as flexible as possible to allow the transition forces be able to choose the training that best suits them needs.

“There are alternative avenues and different levels of support that allow service members to control their transition processes,” he said. “And if a changing service member states that they need this training, or if their self-assessment indicates that they need it, then they will get it.”

TIED TOGETHER

The Women in Military Service to America Memorial, the only national museum honoring military women, celebrated its 15th anniversary on October 20, 2012.

However, Browley and other lawmakers said this approach may not be strong enough, especially given the preconceived notion that VA health care is more focused on helping men than women.

“When women leave, they need to know what the options are,” she said. “And many of them leave on a traumatic basis. So many women are subjected to harassment or assault that happened to them during their military service. “

There are currently no pending laws on the matter, but Brownley indicated that if the expansion of training progresses slowly, she could begin creating such a plan.

Along with the addition of virtual coaches, Defense and VA officials said they plan to increase funding for the program in the coming months to allow for wider program visibility through existing programs and transition networks.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs, and the White House for Military Times. He has been reporting on Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veteran politics. His work has received numerous awards, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

How To Use Your Phone To Stay Happy And Healthy

Published

on

The NHS has promised a digital revolution to transform patient care. The wider use of technology is at the heart of a ten-year plan to reduce disease by developing digital tools that help the public better manage disease.

However, a study published yesterday by the Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps evaluating digital health tools like smartphone apps for healthcare found that older people often miss out on the benefits of technology.

Good Health looks at just a few of the smartphone apps that could improve the health of the elderly

It found that GPs recommend NHS-approved apps to more than twice as many people under 35 as people over 55 – although the majority of older people said they’d love to try NHS-approved health apps.

Patient Safety Learning, a charity that works for improved standards in health care, said doctors fail to educate older people about the wide range of NHS-supported health apps that could benefit their wellbeing.

Good Health looks at just a few of the smartphone apps that could improve the health of the elderly, while Dr. Trisha Macnair, an elderly care specialist from Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham, Surrey, delivers her verdict. . .

Reminders for Coping with Dementia

My House Of Memories, free on Google Play on Android devices or AppStore on Apple devices

Dementia, which affects around 800,000 mostly elderly people in the UK, not only robs people of their memories, but often causes restlessness. My House Of Memories would like to help by saving images or sounds from the past that those affected find comforting.

This could simply be a picture of old currency from her childhood – like a ten shilling note – or a Singer sewing machine that brings back fond memories of a relative who made clothes for her.

Personalized pictures – such as pictures of favorite objects, loved ones or old school friends – can also be uploaded to the app.

Expert judgment: “From caring for people with dementia, we know that remembering beautiful and distant memories can help them deal with their illness. It allows them to feel engaged, which improves their mood and quality of life. So I’m sure this could be beneficial – although it will take a caregiver’s help to use it. ‘

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Medicine sent to your door

Hey pharmacist, it’s free on Google Play or the AppStore

According to charity Age UK, around four million people over 65 in the UK take five or more prescription drugs – many of them every day.

For elderly patients, ensuring uninterrupted supply of these drugs is essential, even when many are home-bound.

The NHS-approved Hey Pharmacist app is designed to relieve headaches by allowing patients to order repeat prescriptions through the app at any pharmacy in England and have them delivered to their door.

After downloading the app and sending a prescription request, it is checked by the patient’s family doctor and delivered within a few days. The app can remind the patient to order another prescription when supplies are running low.

Expert judgment: “This is really useful. I work in elderly care and I’m constantly trying to convince patients to use his type of technology to make sure they don’t run out of medication.

“Those who are familiar with smartphone apps seem pretty easy to understand – but it can be more difficult for those in their late 70s.”

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Take a home stress test

EXi, free of charge on Google Play or AppStore

General practitioners who want to assess an older person’s fitness often refer them to a six-minute walk test – how far they can go in that time. It is a measure of aerobic fitness and a crucial guide to overall wellbeing.

The EXi app enables patients to take the test in their own garden or while taking a walk on site instead of having to go to a clinic.

It also creates a 12-week exercise plan based on each patient’s own health information – such as weight, underlying health issues, and whether or not they smoke. The app gradually increases the level of training until the patient complies with the NHS recommended five 30-minute sessions per week at the end of three months of treatment.

Expert judgment: “This could be useful, but we know that most people find it difficult to motivate themselves to exercise unless there is someone around to do it. This is especially true for older people, for whom social interaction is just as important as physical exercise. “

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

App to deal with leaks

Squeezy, £ 2.99, Google Play or AppStore

AN estimates that seven million people in the UK – mostly women – have urinary incontinence. It tends to affect the elderly because the muscles that control bladder function get weaker with age.

Pelvic floor exercises are known to help fight the problem, but must be done regularly and properly to get any real benefit – something many patients struggle with. The Squeezy app is aimed at both men and women and offers patients a pelvic floor exercise plan developed by physiotherapists who specialize in women’s health.

Users are given clear instructions on how to perform pelvic floor exercises effectively – to improve bladder control – and a journal feature allows them to record improvements in their condition.

Expert judgment: “A really helpful app. Half the problem with pelvic floor exercises is that you’re never quite sure you’re tensing the right muscles, but with this app to guide you, the chances are much less. ‘

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Manage your heart health

Activate the self-care app, free of charge on Google Play or in the AppStore

At least one million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation, which is when an abnormal heartbeat causes blood to build up in the heart’s pumping chambers – which increases the risk of a clot that could cause a stroke.

The average age of onset is around 75 years. Many of the diagnosed patients rely on the blood-thinning drug warfarin to reduce their risk of stroke. However, the drug must be carefully monitored as too much can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.

This means having regular tests at a clinic – usually every four to six weeks – to measure the amount of the drug in the blood.

The NHS-approved Engage app allows patients to do this at home – without hospitalization – provided they have received a test kit from their GP.

The app saves readings and wirelessly shares them with the patient’s doctor so that he can remotely monitor drug levels.

Expert Verdict: “Most patients who take warfarin either need regular checkups or a county nurse calls every few weeks to get a blood sample, but the app could make life a lot easier.”

Keep track of daily pills

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Pillboxie, £ 1.79, AppStore

Billed as an “easy way to remember your medication”, you can use this app to record every day which tablets you have to take and at what time. But what makes this so user-friendly is that there are visual – and not just text-based – reminders of taking medication.

For example, if a medication has to be taken at 7 a.m., a tablet appears in the picture of a pill box and remains there until the patient informs the app that they have taken the medication. Separately, the app can flash a list of ‘medication due today’ that the patient can tick off on the go.

Expert verdict: “Apps like this are a great idea and the visual element will likely make them more user-friendly. I know pharmacists sometimes have to call patients every day to remind them to take their medication. Using this app could prevent patients from accidentally missing doses. “

Sounds like nodding off

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Pzizz, for free on Google Play or AppStore

Many older people have trouble sleeping. This may be due to a day nap, which reduces nighttime fatigue. The Pzizz app uses a complex mix of music, voice overs, and various background sound effects to create a “dream landscape” described by the creators as a “dream landscape” that promotes sleep.

Expert judgment: “Sleep problems are very common in older people and they can become afraid of them, which can make falling asleep even more difficult. This app could possibly help. ‘

Stay mobile to relieve pain

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

ESCAPE-Pain-App, free of charge on Google Play

In the case of chronic pain, it is important to stay mobile. The Escape Pain app is for people with pain who want to stay mobile at home instead of attending fitness classes. It includes videos with clear instructions on gentle exercise and allows users to track their progress and track pain.

Expert verdict: “We know that in diseases like osteoarthritis, which affects around eight million people in the UK, staying mobile is essential to control pain and maintain muscle strength.

“Apps like this can help patients find the right type and amount of exercise for them.”

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

Scientists Have Discovered A Surprising Relationship Between Estrogen and Exercise

Published

on

In recent years, the influence of hormones on exercise has become a major topic of conversation affecting sports, exercise, and especially female athletes. Ignoring hormones when it comes to female athletes and training means ignoring vital opportunities for increased intensity and rest as the body adapts to hormone production. In a 2016 pool interview, Olympic bronze medal swimmer Fu Yuanhui talked about how her period affected her performance at the Olympics, which was seldom talked about in women’s sport of this level. Now women athletes speak publicly about the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, with scientific studies further showing how hormones can lead to different training outcomes.

Since a 1924 study in rats, scientists have known that female mammals are most physically active just before ovulation, which also coincides with the time they are sexually receptive. Researchers have since speculated that such a shift was due to estrogen, which acts as a driving factor in this behavior.

For Holly Ingraham, the Herzstein Endowed Professor of Physiology at the University of California, she wanted to investigate how estrogen affects genetic activity in the brain and what this means for exercise. Studies were conducted in healthy adult female mice, with some chemically blocking estrogen uptake while the researchers tracked how much all animals moved. It was immediately clear that those without estrogen became noticeably more sedentary than other women, suggesting that estrogen somehow affects physical activity.

The study suggests that the timing of exercise for women could be fine-tuned to account for hormonal changes. While the study needs to be confirmed in humans, the researchers have strong reason to believe that such results will be seen in women, which may help explain why inactivity is so common in postmenopausal women. As the New York Times suggests, “Raising estrogen levels in older women, for example, could theoretically encourage more exercise, although estrogen replacement therapy remains a complicated topic due to the increased risk of cancer and other health concerns.”

Paul Ansdel, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Northumbria University in England, who was not involved in the study but did a lot of research on menstruation and physical performance: “This study has a significant impact on human research, the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives as well Investigates menopause. ”Ansdel added,“ We ​​know how important exercise is for promoting and maintaining good health in later life, ”adding,“ The challenge for us now is to understand the best ways to exercise during major hormonal change, menopause to stay active. ”

Dr. Ingraham hopes this research can now be used to better understand how we move and why, with the intent of making our older years healthier. With regard to training and one’s own cycle, several studies have shown that strength training in the follicular phase resulted in greater muscle strength gains compared to training in the luteal phase, while women are 3 to 6 times more likely to be injured by their ACL than men, with the Risk is highest in the days leading up to ovulation, when estrogen is high. Ultimately, keeping an eye on your cycle is important and can do wonders for your athletic performance, but understanding it is even more important. It is important not to judge the results of your training by your performance, as in some cases hormones play an important role.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending