14th November 2018
We are in the midst of a dramatic shift in how technology influences our daily lives – both positive and negative. We see it in our elections, food ordering, taxi hailing, exercise and much more. Increasingly, people are using technology to plan and prepare for pregnancy. This trend to date has seen consumers empowered with more information and options than ever before, more quickly than before, and, in many instances, more carelessly than ever before.
We are seeing the costs of this approach in the crisis surrounding social media. As Renee has clearly shown how – we are confronting this in health with “The complexity of simply searching for medical advice.” The typical silicon valley approach of disruption first and picking up the pieces later is not sufficient or responsible in any area – but particularly in health.
One area we need a high bar for care is reproductive health. Providing data and information without much care for how it is used or how it influences decisions — beyond capturing attention to drive user engagement or purchases — will not deliver the improvements in health people seek. In fact it may indeed exacerbate the very mental health stresses that can undermine reproductive health. Health demands an integrated approach encompassing the end user’s history, experience, mental & physical health, situation, and goals. It’s a personal journey, not just an optimised web page conversion. With the right approach we can empower women to harness their strength and achieve the goals they have for their journey.
Five years ago my wife and I struggled with fertility and, once pregnant, to have a healthy baby. We faced setbacks that dramatically impacted our physical and mental health. We were confused and filled with anxiety about the path we faced. The reality is we are an example of a larger trend in fertility. As the BBC reported today we are seeing a “Remarkable decline in fertility rates”.
And, like us, people are increasingly try to make sense of all this and take control of their health. As explained in a recent CBInsights report “Infertility affects 6.1M women between ages 15 to 44 in the US. Many women are in the dark about their fertility status due to lack of access to fertility services.” And as a result women are searching for solutions.
The parallel advances in diagnostic science with potential for major economics savings and data-driven health care make this even more exciting. This means it is an incredibly unique time for both people planning or trying to conceive and those trying to help them. It is an incredible opportunity to truly revolutionise the way we approach this most precious event in humanity.
We have the opportunity to move beyond simply hoping for the best – for too long people have been trying to conceive with no real understanding of their health. Now we can provide the data, tools and support so that people can understand their health, plan ahead and achieve their life goals. .
That is what empowerment is about — and seeing that experience through the stories of amazing women we’re engaging with at Adia is what get’s me really excited .