As a non-English-speaking child transplanted to spend my formative years in rural Indiana, I was always keenly aware of what made me different. Not just in terms of my appearance, but also in terms of my personality. I didn’t conform to the gender boxes laid before me. I wanted to play sports with my brothers and the other boys, and though I wasn’t surprised when they scoffed, “girls don’t play sports”, I refused to accept the rejection. I dared to allow my inner differences to show – I believed all people should. As an adult, I haven’t changed my outlook. I founded my company, VisMed3D, on this very premise. We are a global research and consulting firm which uses 3D printing technology to provide a personalized look at a pre-op patient’s body. All people are as different on the inside as they are on the outside, and all people deserve to be treated as such.
Today, the gender-bias in the healthcare industry is forcing minorities into a lower-priority position of the world health market. Yet as people who, without a doubt, must be considered equally for the sake of our health, we belong in this market. What’s more, we must be considered in this market. How many women must die due to undiagnosed heart complications before they are equally included in medical trials? How many minorities must be improperly diagnosed before drugs and medical devices lose their “one-size-fits-all” design? How many more injustices must be perpetrated against us before the healthcare industry stops misunderstanding how gender disparities lead to issues in the diagnosis and treatment of illness? These complications cannot and will not be solved until we consider serious actions to alter their course. And we need to consolidate our efforts to make a viable play.
That’s why I’m joining with countless others as the Secretary for the Board of Directors to bring iGIANT® to fruition. We work to improve the lives of men and women by constantly pushing for reform and change in the way everyone is treated in the healthcare industry. We encourage innovation and lead necessary discussions around gender/sex-specific design to bring important information forward and advocate for the impending healthcare revolution.
This revolution in healthcare is not about all genders being treated (literally) as equals. We are not all the same – each of us requires a specific path of personalized medicine that the 75 kg white male model simply cannot provide. This revolution is about being considered equally. It’s about being tested, understood and cared for equally. It’s about improving the safety and quality of life, including work performance, for men and women, everywhere.
Any entrepreneur can tell you that understanding product-market fit is an important quality of a successful business – but many can also tell you that in the healthcare industry, this fit has been static for decades. When the market demand only calls for one specific kind of product, the rest of the industry suffers. Today, across the world, the industry made of gender-minorities is suffering for lack of dynamical healthcare. I’ve been working hard to revolutionize the world of personalized medicine through my company, VisMed-3D, and now I’m excited to get involved on a bigger scale. And iGIANT® is here to bring it to the world stage.