While being away at Yale for the weekend, attending the Global Health Innovation Conference there were many memories made and lessons learned. I was truly inspired by the characters of the individuals who presented, and in awe of some of the innovations that they were a part of creating or implementing. In this write-up I will be focusing on a particular session that stuck with me, “Medical Technology and Medical Education Information session”.
In this session, Alan Stone, who is an advisor from Evofem. Mr.Stone presented a recent innovation, which has been going through FDA approval to become a prescription drug for individuals who are sexually active. His company is proposing a contraceptive that also prevents against STD’s and it is called Amphora. Amphora is a gel that can be used non-routinely and on a last minute basis. The way it works is the amphora is slightly more acidic than the vagina, killing off any harmful bacteria while providing a safe option for safe sex as through experimental testing, it has been more effective than current birth control pills. This presentation really interested me as in health science we have been exposed to challenges that exist in health care which include: unexpected pregnancy and STD rates that are on the rise.
I also was fascinated by the “DigiSight technologies: Mobile Vision Testing” talk by Douglas Foster. Mr. Foster presented a technology which allowed for eye exams to be done through the convenience of a smart phone, which will help reduce accessibility and cost issues for treating patients in rural areas and third world countries where we cannot always transfer our huge thousand dollar machines. The way it works is there is a special lense that you insert over your iphone camera which is specialized for the eye and can do examinations such as the larger more complex machines at the optometrist – obviously at a lower precision but still producing impressive and reliable results.
This experience has enhanced my experience as a Health Studies student as it has further inspired me to enter into a career in the health sector. After being exposed to the research and stories of these wise presenters all coming from different background (masters in public health, doctors, CEO’s, ministers) I have gained a renewed perspective on the needs of health care not only in North America but globally.