Earlier this month, we were fortunate to be able to attend, chair and moderate at the Women’s Health Innovation Summit in Basel. In attendance were pharma businesses, scale ups, start-ups, investors and more, all focussed on the opportunities presented by increased momentum within women’s health.

This is the first time this event has been held in Europe, demonstrating the growing attention in an area which has been bizarrely under-served and under-represented in the agendas and budgets of healthcare businesses.

For us at Kinneir Dufort and for our team at XXEquals, (Europe’s only dedicated female-led and female-focused innovation, design and development initative focused on products and services in healthcare), it proved a fantastic opportunity to catch up with many of our clients, as well as gaining further insight into the ambitions and agendas of those positioned alongside us at the forefront of this sector.

What we heard:

Boutique funds and big pharma alike, driving investment in innovation

Lots of interesting funds (predominantly in the £25-50m space) looking to build early stage relationships, alongside potential support and partnerships with the big players in the healthcare space.

Compelling challenger start-ups around the pillars of menstruation, fertility and menopause

Recognition that there is an opportunity to do things in a more relevant, compelling and potentially more regulated way, with modern brands which resonate, driving trust and loyalty.

A focus on hormones and a more holistic viewpoint

A desire to be more joined up in thinking and approaches, driving a deeper understanding of how unique and individual each woman’s symptoms are and how personalisation is key.

Smashing taboos, normalising women’s health

Personal stories and vulnerability, underpinning business creation stories and influencing decision making being a driving force (alongside a great commercial opportunity), making the language and conversation around women’s health ‘everyday’.

The importance of emotional support solutions across healthcare, as well as medical treatments

Understanding the importance and power of sharing, communicating and empowering women health issues and providing them and employers with practical healthcare solutions.

Education, knowledge and informed choices.

The role of education and transparency from healthcare professionals and beyond to inform healthcare choices for women.

We’re excited to see how the WHIS series grows and for the opportunities this creates for women and women’s healthcare.