We are excited to announce our speakers for our Tech Behind Femtech event coming up on April 4th at Blush CoWork from 5-7 PM. To learn more about what each speaker will be talking about continue reading below.
Women comprise half of the world’s population and control most of the healthcare spending in the U.S., yet the majority of modern medicine has been designed using men’s anatomy as the standard. Women’s health and technology intersected as startups and tech companies saw a gap in the global health tech market (valued at USD 142.7 billion in 2022) and began developing software, products, and services that allow women to take greater charge of their health, health related data, and specifically designed around women’s physiology. And thus “Femtech” was born.
These new technologies collect and aggregate data from IoT connected devices; utilize machine learning to make health predictions; engage with small batch manufacturers to create products; work with DevOps and UI/UX teams to create apps; and employ edge computing to deliver information.
Join us as our speakers discuss how the modernization of women’s healthcare is driving innovation and invention at the intersection of healthcare and technology! RSVP
Brittany Barreto, PhD
CEO & Founder, FemHealth Insights
Bio: Every day Dr. Barreto dedicates her work to advancing women’s health innovation by equipping key stakeholders with data-driven insights and strategic advice on the femhealth market. She received her doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in Molecular and Human Genetics. As a serial entrepreneur, she is most known for Pheramor, the world’s first DNA-based dating app. Her time in venture capital included senior venture associate at Capital Factory and co-founding Coyote Ventures. Today she hosts the FemTech Focus podcast, is a FemTech Forbes contributor, and founded FemHealth Insights a boutique consulting firm with market research software specializing in women’s health innovation.
The State of Women’s Health in the Triangle
Dr. Brittany Barreto hosts the #1 Femtech podcast, FemTech Focus, and leads a boutique women’s health consulting firm. In her talk she will provide an overview of what is Femtech and why we need a female health specific industry. In addition, Dr. Barreto will give a snapshot on the current state of women’s health in the triangle. What are the major challenges facing women locally? What resources exist for us? Do we have any unique programs in the triangle that are working well? Let’s take a pulse on Femtech and the health of women, females, and girls in our neighborhood.
S. Rahima Benhabbour
Founder & Director, AnelleO
Bio: Dr. Benhabbour received a BS in polymer engineering from the Algerian Petroleum Institute (Institut Algerien du Petrol, IAP, Algeria), a Master’s of Science in medicinal organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), and a PhD in organic/polymer chemistry at McMaster University (Canada). Rahima then joined the Eshelman School of Pharmacy to pursue a postdoctoral position to implement chemistry to functionalize lipid-based nanoparticles to enhance drug delivery for cancer treatment. In 2017, Rahima joined the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC – Chapel Hill and NC State – Raleigh. Research in the Benhabbour Lab (https://benhabbour.web.unc.edu/) focuses on harnessing innovative engineering and chemistry tools to develop the next generation long-acting delivery systems for disease treatment or prevention. Our technologies include innovative 3D printed intravaginal rings for prevention of HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancy, polymeric implants and injectables for HIV treatment and prevention and as a first-in-line multipurpose prevention of HIV and unplanned pregnancy. Other technologies currently in development include a novel thin film technology for treatment of vulvodynia and a hydrogel technology for regenerative medicine and cancer treatment. Dr. Benhabbour is inventor in one issued patent and 6 patent applications and has received multiple awards including 2022 Member of the Year Award (CRS), The 2022 Faculty Research Award (UNC BME), the 2021 Young Ivestigator Award (CRS TMD FG), a David Sokal Innovation Award (MCI), a KL2 Award, and Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) Awards. Dr. Benhabbour is also the Founder & Director of Anelleo, Inc. (AnelleO, https://anelleo.com/), a UNC spinoff company pioneering an innovative 3D printed intravaginal ring platform technology for unmet women’s health indications. For her role as an entrepreneur, she has received multiple awards including the Chancellor’s Faculty Entrepreneurship Award, University’s Technology Nominee for the J&J WiSTEM2D competition, and NIH SEED Program Award (AnelleO).
AnelleO – Where 3D printing meets women’s health
AnelleO is harnessing the advancements in the speed and scale of 3D printing technology for novel solutions in Women’s Health. Intravaginal Rings (IVR) offer a unique platform for sustained delivery of therapeutics – a non-invasive, self-administered and retrievable platform that can deliver drugs over a period of weeks or months. To-date, IVR technology has been limited to a few successes due to inherent limitations of current manufacturing by injection molding or extrusion. The design flexibility, rapid prototyping, and cost-effective manufacturing of digital light synthesis (DLS) 3D printing allows AnelleO to develop and manufacture IVRs specifically matched to the unique characteristics of the molecule and indication. AnelleO’s lead product is AnelleO PRO – a self-administered, non-invasive multi-week alternative to daily progesterone supplementation alongside Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) for women undergoing fertility treatment.
Connect with Dr. Benhabbour on Linkedin
CEO, The Sure Company
Bio: Just a few years ago, April Kelly and her family were celebrating one of the most joyous times of their lives, bringing home their new baby. Like most parents, she and her husband experienced the full range of emotions, happiness, excitement, a tinge of anxiety but most of all, the warm sensation of unyielding love. Shortly after returning home, they were faced with a sudden change of events that ultimately led them to making the decision to supplement full time. After battling postpartum depression, a restricted milk supply and excruciating feedings, April decided to grasp on to the tid bit of sanity she had left, forgetting about the mommy guilt and diving head first into supplementing. “Like many moms, I felt ashamed, overwhelmed and a bit guilty. What could I have done differently to avoid this outcome? I wasn’t looking forward to the task of formula shopping or the potential of mom-shaming that sometimes comes along with formula-feeding.” After experiencing terrible side effects from a popular plant based formula on the market, April and her husband decided to take matters into their own hands, committing to extensive research on formula ingredients and alternative options. Safe to say, a fire was lit that still burns today. “With the aid of pediatricians, industry experts, my husband and all of my mom-friends, we’ve developed a special recipe that provides complete nutrition, quality and convenience.” As a woman, a mom of four and a wife, April strives to create an inclusive family-friendly brand that empowers, educates and equips parents to make the best decisions regarding the health and well-being of their children starting with their ready-made plant based formula for infants and toddlers!
The Conscious/Sure Mom Meets Tech
For the past few decades, the infant formula industry has remained stagnant with only four companies owning 90% of the market share. The infant formula crisis proved this to be a huge issue. Combining tech, innovation and plant-based nutrition, Sure! is emerging as one of the newcomers in this space, transforming the future of formula.
Connect with April on Linkedin
Dr. Trillitye Paulin
Founder & CEO, Free to Feed
Bio: Dr. Trillitye Paullin was motivated to start Free to Feed after her newborn experienced food allergies from her breast milk. Trill turned to what she knew and utilized her Ph. D in Cellular & Molecular Biology (University of South Florida) to build scientific solutions for food allergy families. Additionally, Trill is serving her 18th year in the Army National Guard and spends her free time with her family.
Empowering Parents to Continue Breastfeeding Through Child Food Reactivity
Parents enter into the breast/body feeding journey for the plethora of touted health benefits. But what happens if they are told their diet is causing the baby to have an allergic reaction through nursing? What can they do to find out what is causing this? Turns out, not a whole lot.
Free to Feed is a biotechnology company dedicated to finding solutions for parents of food reactive children. The first of its kind allergen test identifies various food proteins in human milk, helping parents determine what is eliciting a response in their child. Through working with biologists, food scientists, and research labs, Free to Feed tests human breast milk to detect allergens and utilizes actionable analytics to help customers understand their results and next steps. Free to Feed offers an App, consultations, and educational services today with the plan to launch the first test kit in 2023.
Connect with Dr. Paulin on Linkedin
Register for this FREE event on our Meetup page here.