EPISODE 117 | MAY 31, 2023

An Insider View Of FemTech with Bethany Corbin

You may have heard a lot about FemTech in recent months.  Did you know that the phrase has only been around since 2016?  This week on HerCsuite™ Radio we dive into the details and give you an Insider View of FemTech with Bethany Corbin, Founder and CEO of FemInnovation. She shares with host Natalie Benamou, all the ways women’s healthcare is impacted from clinical trials to data privacy and more.

Today on the show, Bethany Corbin had a strong connection with Natalie Benamou since she is the Founder and CEO of FemInnovation. We talk about everything women's health today. Bethany is a healthcare innovation and FemTech attorney on a mission to help thought leading companies revolutionize women's health. Through her company FemInnovation, she partners with emerging companies at the forefront of healthcare transformation to ensure they are building robust, scalable, and legally compliant businesses focused on enhancing health equity.

5 Fast Facts about FemTech

  1. FemTech is a relatively new industry.
  2. The term was only coined back in 2016, it was really coined because we needed to give a definition and dialogue to women's health care, and so whenever we talk about FemTech, we're talking about anything that's digital health related for women's health conditions.
  3. Beyond period tracking apps, ovulation apps, and fertility apps, FemTech is branching out beyond reproductive care.
  4. There’s been a huge emphasis on menopause and longevity.
  5. Chronic care conditions, especially with breast and uterine health are coming into play.

“One of my personal favorites is a company called AOA that is actually trying to do a blood test for ovarian cancer since there's really no early-stage detection.” Bethany Corbin

Access to Clinical Trials

It wasn’t until 1993 that women were allowed to participate in clinical trials. There was a longstanding FDA prohibition from 1977.

When we think about it that way, we have a huge gender data gap when it comes to healthcare, and one size fits all solutions have been applied from male physiology to the female body. A lot of the interventions that we've had have been male designed, not necessarily designed for females. This is contributing to the growth of the FemTech industry and the emphasis on personalized care for women.

HIPPA and FemTech

  • There is a very common misconception that exists over what HIPAA does and doesn't cover.
  • A lot of women think that the same data that they give their healthcare provider and they put into their FemTech app, that it's going to be covered by HIPAA, because it doesn't make sense that all healthcare data wouldn’t be treated the same.
  • HIPAA, in the privacy rule, is only protecting your protected health information when it's possessed by a covered entity, and by covered entity what they mean is your healthcare provider, your health plan or your healthcare clearinghouse.
  • The majority of the FemTech apps on the market today don't fit in that definition. So that means they fall entirely outside the bounds of HIPAA.
  • You could give that exact same data to your healthcare provider, and it's protected. That same data shared with your healthcare app, is not protected.
  • The biggest risk to your healthcare data happens when it is sold to data brokers.

Actions To Take

Reach out to your elected officials about healthcare data privacy and restrictions on what can be shared or sold without your knowledge. 

This podcast is sponsored by Her Health Equity Council. Take the Pledge #HerHealthEquityPledge. Share Your Healthcare story, we would love to also know why women's health is important to you. You can record a message right there on HerCsuite.com and let us know what about women's health matters to you. We would love to have you join Her Health Equity Council. Schedule a call to learn more.


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