FEATURE8 February 2021

Invisible unknowns: How the Health Tech Hive studied women’s health

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Features Healthcare Impact Trends

A study of online conversations about health and wellbeing has helped map the scale of the data gap affecting women. By Katie McQuater.

Invisible-zebrah

Women are 50 per cent more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack because they have different symptoms to men, while, on average, they receive a diagnosis for diabetes 4.5 years later. For women suffering from endometriosis, it can take an average of 7.5 years to be diagnosed.

There are still glaring inequalities when it comes to the health of women – in how it is understood, discussed and treated. Caroline Criado Perez’s book Invisible Women, published in 2019, laid bare the problems caused by a lack of sex-disaggregated data, from heart attacks being misdiagnosed to car-safety systems not taking account of women’s measurements.

It is one thing to recognise that an area of health needs more research, investment, solutions and awareness, but another to identify exactly what the needs are within that. This was the issue facing the Health Tech Hive, a network of policy-makers, entrepreneurs, engineers, academics and competitors, set up with the aim of building technology solutions to health ...