Google and others kick off initiative to support women in health IT

Sanofi, BNP Paribas and AXA are also among the groups calling for women innovators to develop tech tools that advance access to care.
women in health IT

The Women and Access to Health Daring Circle — a group of partners that include Google, AXA, Sanofi, BNP Paribas, RB, Gavi and the Vaccine Alliance — want to help women help women across the globe. The group is calling for applications from start-ups with health IT solutions developed by women that can improve access to healthcare for women.

The prizes will include an undisclosed amount of funding, media exposure, mentorship and networking opportunities.

Winners will gain six months of mentorship, tailored to the winner’s needs, to be provided by Google and other companies in the Daring Circle, the group said.

The Daring Circle wants to use its clout to “tell the stories of these initiatives to audiences around the world,” through social media channels and press relationships. “As a group of partners, we will help to tell your story by capitalising on our channels and networks and coordinating our communication during the right moments throughout the year,” the Circle said.

As a result of the initiative, the Daring Circle also hopes to launch a network of entrepreneurial women in health IT leaders, all facing the same challenges, as well as connecting those in the network with business partners.

WHY IT MATTERS

Daring Circle has identified six barriers to safe and quality care for women, based on their potential to be addressed by tech-led solutions. They include: lack of health care providers informed by sex-disaggregated research, barriers to accessing mental health care, limited awareness and access to information, limited physical access to care, lack of confidential or reliable health records and lack of financial means to pay for healthcare.

THE BIGGER TREND

Daring Circle’s initiative comes at an opportune time. Despite the progress, it is still not always easy to be a woman in health IT today. Dr. Julie Hall-Barrow, senior vice president of Network Development and Innovation at Children's Health in Dallas, said there have been key moments in her career when being a woman was not an advantage.

"In the male dominated field, it took bold statements to many of our vendors to make sure they understood who was making the decisions," she said, in a spotlight we published Jan. 14. "Many times they would want to defer to the IT lead who was usually male versus listening to me – so being bold and standing my ground was advantageous."

Coincidentally, Daring Circle’s comes in the weeks prior to HIMSS19, where Aashima Gupta, director of global healthcare solutions at Google Cloud, will be honored among this year’s Most Influential Women in Health IT.

ON THE RECORD

“We not only want to raise awareness on women’s access to health parity, but also further understand how tech is contributing to real solutions – and help start-ups scale their impact in a concrete way,” say leaders of The Women and Access to Health Daring Circle.

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