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The Irish start-up on a mission to help women navigate menopause

identifyHer’s medical device will be able to monitor menopausal symptoms and help clinicians give a better diagnostic

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Heidi Davis, co-founder of identifyHer

Disease prevention means data. Heidi Davis, co-founder of the Irish start-up identifyHer, tells FemTech World why a medical wearable device is essential in understanding menopause and predicting future disease. 

The effect of menopausal symptoms on women’s future health is rarely talked about.

In the UK and Ireland, 3.7 million women are experiencing  symptoms that negatively affect their lives during perimenopause and menopause and untreated, such symptoms can lead to chronic diseases.

“Understanding menopause is extremely important to assess the future risks of disease,” says Heidi Davis, co-founder of identifyHer. The Irish digital health company focuses on predictive health services for women going through menopause, guiding personalised management of menopausal symptoms.

“When we started, we realised that nobody knew anything about menopause and that there was no real objective data to understand this life stage,” the co-founder explains. “So, we looked at a range of symptoms that we believed we could capture with a wearable sensor that could identify those physiological changes.

“We collected data from women who were going through menopausal symptoms and we understood that they are the ones who are looking for this information, who need this information and who are desperate to understand what’s going on.”

Along with the American manufacturing company, Analog Devices, the identifyHer team is developing a medical device that uses AI-enabled technology to capture physiological signals and personalise the management of menopausal symptoms to reduce the risk of disease in the future.

“The symptoms women experience [during perimenopause and menopause] can overlap with other symptoms that happen in daily life,” Davis points out.

“For that reason, clinicians find it hard to diagnose and give treatment because they don’t have diagnostic tests that can give a clear image. So, our mission is to help them differentiate those symptoms and provide objective data.”

The identifyHer tracker, which can be used from perimenopause onwards, sits under the breast and is activated by an app. The wearer goes about their business as normal and they will get daily, weekly, and monthly reports on their menopausal symptoms and lifestyle data.

The woman will wear the sensor for three months to track her symptoms and the data collected during that time will be used to initiate or evaluate the treatment she is already on.

The device will not only save clinicians time, but it will also offer them a better diagnostic tool and help them improve and change the treatment accordingly.

“Managing those symptoms correctly can actually set women up for a better future post-menopause because the severity and the frequency of the symptoms themselves are indicators of future risk of disease,” Davis adds.

“Women who seek medical help will be offered our solution and get remote monitoring of their symptoms while clinicians can use it for diagnosis and treatment.”

The device will be regulated both for cybersecurity and data protection and it will first launch in the UK and Ireland, followed by the EU and the US. The company will be working with health insurance companies on a paying claim policy and hopes that with time, the tracker will be integrated into the national healthcare systems.

“It’s been great to be working in women’s health,” the entrepreneur tells me. “It has been challenging, but the overall experience was good.

“We are hoping to close a round of €2.2 million by the end of this year and our aim is to become the gold standard in clinics to diagnose and help women get the right treatment. So far, we’ve had some good conversations and we are moving forward.”

Before we wrap up our Zoom call, I ask Heidi what is her biggest achievement since establishing identifyHer.

“Building the team. We wouldn’t be where we are now, if it wasn’t for the people that have helped us along the journey. It took us a long time to find them, but we knew they were the right people straight away.

“I hope we can continue growing it with as good people as we have now.”

For more info, visit identifyher.ai.

 

 

Sorina Mihaila is the Femtech World editor, covering technology, research and innovation in women's health. Sorina is also a contributor for the neuro-rehabilitation magazine NR Times.

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Drug that targets hot flushes approved in UK and EU

Fezolinetant could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of women approaching menopause

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A new drug that prevents hot flushes during menopause has been approved for use in the UK and the EU.

Veoza, also known as fezolinetant, has been given the go-ahead by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Commission after it was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this year.

Hot flushes, also known as vasomotor symptoms, are a common symptom of menopause that often feels like a sudden flare of heat, paired with sweating and flushed skin. Worldwide, more than half of women between 40 to 64 years experience them, with rates in Europe ranging from 56 per cent to 97 per cent.

Before menopause, there is a balance between oestrogens and a protein made by the brain, known as neurokinin B (NKB), that regulates the brain’s temperature control centre. As the body goes through menopause, oestrogen levels decline and this balance is disrupted, which can lead to hot flushes.

Veoza, developed by the Japanese drug maker Astellas Pharma, reduces the number and intensity of hot flushes and night sweats by blocking neurokinin-3.

“Hot flushes and night sweats caused by menopause are common and can have a significant impact on a woman’s daily life,” explained Julian Beach, the interim executive director of healthcare quality and access at the MHRA.

“We are therefore pleased to have authorised Veoza (fezolinetant) for hot flushes and night sweats caused by menopause via our reliance procedure.

“No medicine would be approved unless it met our expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness and we continue to keep the safety of all medicines under close review.”

Professor Rossella Nappi, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and director of the gynaecological endocrinology and menopause unit IRCCS San Matteo Foundation, University of Pavia, said: “I’ve been awaiting the marketing authorisation of fezolinetant.

“I’m happy to see this advancement in women’s health and that my patients will soon have this new non-hormonal treatment option available to better control their moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms.”

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Menopause

The coolest brand in hot flash relief: behind Femography’s menopause clothing revolution

In an era when menopause was seldom addressed, Femography courageously launched Become

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Three women relax and chat donning Become’s signature Anti-Flush™ clothing line. (Femography by MAS Holdings)

In the realm of women’s health, an exciting revolution is underway, and at its forefront is Femography, a trailblazing brand in the femtech industry.

Backed by a formidable apparel conglomerate and embraced by women worldwide, Femography is more than just a brand – it’s a movement reshaping the menopause apparel industry. This feature dives into Femography’s journey and highlights a ‘cool’ gift idea for your friends and loved ones – figuratively and literally.

Powered by an apparel giant: a leap in women’s health

Femography distinguishes itself in the femtech space with the robust backing of MAS Holdings, a titan in South Asia’s apparel tech industry. This partnership propels Femography forward in a sector where a mere three per cent of women’s health-focused businesses have secured financing since 2011.

It marks a significant step in filling a gap in women’s health — a crucial but often overlooked area — positioning Femography as a visionary leader.

Scientific breakthrough meets lifestyle

The cornerstone of Femography’s success lies in its groundbreaking patented Anti-Flush™ Technology, ingeniously crafted to tackle the three stages of a hot flash, a predominant symptom of menopause.

This innovation transcends the boundaries of science, offering lifestyle solutions that blend seamlessly into everyday life. It’s this unique fusion of scientific ingenuity and practical utility that sets Femography apart, carving out its niche in the market.

Femography’s holistic product line

Femography’s product development approach is comprehensive and thoughtful. Their expansive product line, including Anti-Flush™ sleepwear, camisoles, panties, loungewear, tank tops, leggings and ultra absorbent underwear, is designed with the utmost care to ease menopause-related discomforts.

Each item in this diverse array is crafted to empower women, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives without the burdens of menopause symptoms.

Enter Become: pioneering change with Femography’s consumer brand

In an era when menopause was seldom addressed, Femography courageously launched Become, its consumer brand dedicated to menopause apparel. This bold initiative has led the way for seven years, transforming societal perceptions and dismantling stigmas around menopause.

Become has not only brought relief to countless women but has also been instrumental in evolving the market, cultivating a space where menopause is openly discussed and managed with dignity and understanding.

A cool gift idea: embrace the holiday spirit with Become

This holiday season, Femography invites you to reimagine gift-giving. Sharing Become’s revolutionary clothing with friends is a wonderful way to support those experiencing menopause. It’s more than a gift; it’s an expression of care, offering real comfort in daily life.

This thoughtful gesture of gifting cooling apparel is not only practical but also a symbol of empathy and unity. And what could be cooler than presenting a gift that brings literal and figurative coolness to someone’s life?

Femography’s broader impact as a leading B2B partner

Femography’s journey in the femtech revolution is marked not just by its technological innovation but also by its deep understanding of consumer needs.

While the holiday season offers a moment to focus on individual gifting, the broader, year-round scope of Femography’s impact lies in its role as a powerful B2B partner in the health and apparel sectors. This dual focus reflects Femography’s commitment to enhancing the lives of individual women and driving forward the industry as a whole.

By offering cutting-edge solutions like their Anti-Flush™ technology, Femography has set new standards in menopause apparel. Their innovative approach extends beyond product development to fostering meaningful collaborations with businesses and brands.

Femography amplifies its impact through these partnerships, making women’s health solutions more accessible and creating a global ripple effect of well-being and empowerment.

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Telehealth platform launches corporate wellness programme to support menopausal women

Winona Corporate Wellness aims to assist businesses in fostering a supportive and inclusive environment

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The US menopause telehealth company Winona has announced a new initiative to support menopausal women in the workplace.

The corporate wellness programme Winona Corporate Wellness aims to assist businesses in fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for women approaching menopause within their organisations.

Recognising the importance of addressing menopause-related challenges in the workplace, the company says it has designed the programme to empower women and enhance their wellbeing during a transformative phase of their lives.

“Empowering women through education and support during the menopause transition is not just our mission; it’s our obligation,” shared Winona’s head of PR, Angela Stubbs.

“When we share knowledge and resources, we empower women to reclaim their health, happiness, and vitality.

“Winona Corporate Wellness is not only a commitment to the wellbeing of women but also a strategic investment in a diverse and thriving workforce.

“By providing companies with the tools and resources they need to support their menopausal employees, Winona aims to drive positive change across workplaces and industries.”

Every day in the US 6,000 women hit menopause, which is defined as starting 12 months after a woman’s last period.

On average, they reach menopause at 51, but perimenopause can occur much earlier. This lead-up period, when hormones can fluctuate wildly and symptoms may be at their worst and most unpredictable, lasts four to seven years, although in some cases it can extend as long as a decade.

The Winona Corporate Wellness programme aims to provide women with resources, guidance, and a platform for open conversations to allow companies to champion women’s health and productivity.

The initiative also includes expert-led seminars and workshops to educate employees and management about menopause as well as telehealth services and virtual consultations with healthcare professionals specialising in menopause care.

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