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Many women cite their company’s outdated maternity leave policies, lack of flexible work arrangements or salaries that are inadequate to cover the costs of childcare as their main reasons for exiting the tech industry. But not all sectors of tech are experiencing a female exodus. Women seem to be flourishing in healthcare technology. A study recently released by Rock Health, a national organization fostering female leadership in healthcare, found that women make up 78% of the healthcare workforce, and that firms with female leadership yield greater returns for investors.
“Not only have we seen an increase in female leadership in the Health Tech industry, but there has been an increase in technologies aimed at helping women,” said Ann Fyfe, President and CEO of Fogarty Institute for Innovation (FII). Founded by cardiovascular surgeon Thomas Fogarty to spearhead innovation in medical technology, FII had two of their female CEOs recognized by Forbes in the “30 Under 30” list for shaping healthcare in 2013 and 2014: Surbhi Sarna, co-founder and CEO of InPress, and Jessie Becker, co-founder and CEO of InPress Technologies.
Given the above, investors may want to keep an eye on some of these women-led healthcare tech disruptors. Here are ten to watch in 2015:
Wellthie – This healthcare tech company, based in New York City, is making it easier for consumers and small businesses to explore their health insurance options in a simple way. It is led by female CEO, Sally Poblete, an 18 year veteran of the health insurance industry. The make-up of Wellthie’s leadership team is 75% female.
Naya Health – This San Francisco-based health startup was created by entrepreneur and visionary, Janica Alvarez, to save parents time and worry by providing the world’s first smart breast pump. The new technology was invented when Janica had her first child, and quickly learned how frustrating the experience of pumping was.
Caremerge is an award-winning healthcare tech company based in Chicago that is revolutionizing care coordination and communication for seniors by providing a HIPAA-compliant web-based and mobile platform that allows family members to communicate in real time with doctors and health care providers caring for their loved ones. Women make up 70% of their workforce, and most of their leadership team is female.
Humetrix has developed health risk appraisals, chronic care management software, and consumer-friendly mobile device-based solutions that gives consumers their own health IT systems. President and CEO Dr. Bettina Experton is also known for transforming Medicare’s Blue Button text file into a user-friendly iBlueButton app, which allows VA members to download their medical information from anywhere.
Cohero Health is developing an Apple Watch app so asthmatics can better track their medication protocol adherence and lung function. The company currently makes a medical device that captures important respiratory performance metrics that sync with its AsthmaHero mobile app. The New York-based healthcare tech company is led by CEO Melissa Manice. Manice is not only the founder and CEO of the company, but also the inventor of the product.
Force Therapeutics, based in New York City, is a recovery platform that enables patients and providers to help support post-acute rehab. The company employs 50% women and is led by founder and female CEO Bronwyn Spira, an entrepreneur and 20-year veteran with clinical and managerial experience in several healthcare settings.
Flextronics is a $26 billion a year company with a strong footprint in biotech and 200,000 employees in 30 countries. The company is led by Jeannine Sargent, President of Innovation and New Ventures at Flextronics.
Maven Clinic offers a tele-health platform that creates video appointments with healthcare providers for convenient quality care with a more human experience. A majority of the providers are women who offer counseling around pre-natal, postpartum and pediatric care. CEO Katherine Ryder, a former early stage investor with Index Ventures in London, noticed the gender discrepancy in the current landscape of healthcare, as well as a lack of female executives in the space. Maven Clinic was designed to fill this void.
AbilTo (pronounced “able to”) is a digital behavioral change therapy company that partners with health plans to offer behavioral change therapy programs over the phone and/or by secure video. The C-suite is comprised largely of women and 80% of the corporate leadership is women.
MMJ Labs was founded by CEO Dr. Amy Baxter, the award-winning inventor of Buzzy, a drug-free, palm-sized needle pain blocker for both adults and children aged 4 and above. Buzzy is FDA cleared to control pain from injections, IVs, phlebotomy and cosmetic injections, as well as for relief of musculoskeletal pain from a variety of conditions.