Chicago iGIANT Roundtable: Impact of Gender/ Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies
On February 16, 2016, WIB-Chicago was pleased to showcase a truly outstanding panel of 12 speakers, half were physicians and half were health tech entrepreneurs, with quite a few of these women working in both realms as physician entrepreneurs.
Challenges our clinical panel discussed were health disparities between men and women, for example, public misconception about cardiac disease and Alzheimer’s disease, both of which disproportionately kill more women than men. Another concern was how to leverage the critical role of women as primary caretakers in families, responsible for patient follow-up care and understanding medical information.
Our entrepreneur panelists noted that although fewer women start companies or file IP for their inventions, the ones that do launch companies emerge with higher success rates than male peers. A separate concern is designing medical devices and new technology (such as brain scans or wearable pacemakers) with female users and their anatomical considerations in mind.
Key action items which our panelists suggested for improving the medical landscape included for women was to “take a seat at the table” volunteering for leadership in medical education and hospital boards. Through networks and sponsors, women can build their confidence to file more patents, pitch new ideas to investors without fear of rejection, and to join venture capital firms as partners.
- Ana Mrejeru, Communications Co-Chair
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