Women's Health Tech Wednesday 10/5/22
October 5, 2022
On October 5th, we were fortunate to host Jessica Bell van der Wal, of Frame Fertility, for our Women’s Health Tech Wednesday. Here is a glimpse of the conversation:
What is your background?
Firstly, I am a new mom and the co-founder of a company that I started with my partner. In many ways, it’s serendipitous that my career is healthcare, and I started a company because I always wanted to be in the healthcare field. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, but later fell in love with how to drive change at a systemic level. I worked for some non-profits, NGO’s, did consulting, then got an MBA, and it led me into working for digital health companies. So I have grown up a lot from where I originally started, and that’s what’s really exciting about Frame Fertility for me, because it leverages my professional expertise and is an intersection between my professional and personal life.
What does Women’s Health Tech mean to you?
For me, health tech has been the focus of my entire career, but what I find very interesting is the intersection of health tech and the woman’s side of the equation. Until I experienced my own challenges in healthcare as a woman, and not until I started Frame, that I realized how important it is that we’re having conversations about health from a woman’s perspective. Therefore, I am so enthusiastic we are having conversations about it, since we should be digging in on how health technology affects women’s health and how it can come together to support women on their journey.
Can you expand on what made you decide to look at this focus more holistically than just “fertility”?
For some people, the term “fertility” really resonates, and for some it does not, because in many ways they believe the term is not applicable to them. In particular, there are a lot of populations that feel excluded from this dialogue, and so LGBTQ in particular, because of the way fertility and infertility have been defined, that some people feel like they are not a part of this conversation, which is not okay. Fertility and family building is our mission, in support of anyone who may want children someday, whether you are single, have a partner, any gender identity, or sexual orientation, we want to make sure we are guiding you on this path.
Can you share any wisdom on how you progressed and shifted your company?
To begin, there is no easy way to do this! For myself, we build this product with clinicians and researchers, and wanted to make sure that providers were on board with what we were doing, since we are basically an extension to clinical care. Therefore, by working with providers, they recommended a lot of people to us and with this we were able to monitor patient and provider outcomes. We have aligned incentives across providers, employers, payers, and consumers, and have used these connections to further our mission and help those in need of our product.
What are any words of advice you would like to share?
Double down and focus on your strengths because that is what makes you unique!
We would like to extend gratitude to Jessica Bell van der Wal for her insight and time. To check out the video of the full interview, click here.