Accelerating FemTech: East Midlands

    June 27, 2023

    On Tuesday 20 June, innovators, academics and clinicians came together for the in-person event “Accelerating FemTech: East Midlands”, to explore the innovative and transformative possibilities in the realm of women’s health. 

    This event was part of the Accelerating FemTech initiative, which aims to support innovators to boost the development of technology solutions to address current challenges in women’s health. Accelerating FemTech is being delivered by the Health Innovation Network and partners, including: Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), CW Innovation and others, utilising Innovate UK funding as part of the Biomedical Catalyst in collaboration with the Medical Research Council.

    This event was hosted by East Midlands AHSN was introduced by Nicole McGlennon, Managing Director of the AHSN. A wide range of experts presented on the day including:

    • Dame Barbara Hakin, who delivered the day’s keynote speech on digital solutions to the challenges facing women’s healthcare. Dame Barbara is a renowned system leader who was the former CEO of East Midlands Strategic Health Authority as well as former Deputy CEO and COO of NHS England. She detailed how the NHS is delivering innovation and explained about potential barriers and strategies to get around them, including the importance of real-world clinical and economic evidence.
    • Nelli Morgulchik, Venture Development Associate at Pioneer Group, then shared insights from guiding budding entrepreneurs and structuring businesses from scratch within the FemTech space. She described the 3 W’s that companies should consider when looking for investment: Who is the investor, What are going to use the money for and When is the right time to raise investment.
    • Zoe Wright, the Founder of the Real Birth Company and Registered Midwife, discussed her award-winning antenatal education programme and the highs and lows of working within FemTech. She shared some great insights about how to work effectively with both clinicians and patients to develop a programme that meets everyone’s needs.
    • Simon Harris is a seasoned professional leading transformative NHS projects and AI initiatives and, in his presentation, he discussed how digital health company, Kheiron, is using AI to help transform breast cancer diagnostics. Simon discussed the challenges of implementing an AI solution across systems and how Kheiron have overcome them. He also shared Kheiron’s experience of using an AI radiology tool to work with clinicians to improve cancer diagnosis and save coasts.
    • After a networking lunch where attendees worked in groups to discuss what the key FemTech challenges were, Angie Doshani, Consultant Obsterician and Gynaecologist, provided an overview of innovation in women’s health, with a particular reference to the JANAM app that she has developed to help support South Asian mums-to-be in Leicester and beyond. It was a great example of how technology can be used to supported under-represented communities.
    • Ollie Croft, FemTech Mentor and Business Development Engineer, then wrapped up the presentation section with a summary of the key considerations for innovators when developing a FemTech product. He presented his significant experience in the design of both physical and digital FemTech products and what needs to be considered.
    • Anna King, Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network, concluded the event by providing an overview of the Accelerating FemTech initiative and importantly how companies can apply and how everyone can get involved!

    Innovators from across the FemTech space were then able to network, linking together to discuss their areas of interest and potential partnership opportunities. We look forward to seeing new partnerships forming as a result of the Accelerating FemTech initiative, to help boost the development, evaluation and deployment of innovations in the women’s health space.

    If you’d like to dive deeper into the topics discussed, you can now download the slide pack from the event.