Women's Health Tech Wednesday 11/17/22
November 17, 2022
On November 17th, we were fortunate to host Heidi Dohse, of Tour de Heart, for our Women’s Health Tech Wednesday. Here is a glimpse of the conversation:
What is your background?
As a child, I played competitive sports, and my life was surrounded around the idea of being healthy, so as I was diagnosed with this crazy heart disease, it left me with a different outlook on my future. Later, I went through procedures, got better, and went back to living my life, and in 1993, my friend and I created this internet company, and my career drastically changed from windsurfer, to consulting systems engineer. So from this, it set my path as a technologist and working with Fortune 500 companies, to startups. But, as I continued in sports, I felt a difference in my body due to my heart disease, and I took the data from my pacemaker, and recreated my feelings, to then show to my doctors, and to prove to them how I could tell there was a difference in my body. From this, we were able to optimize my pacemaker in order for me to still be a competitive athlete. This experience led me to the field of advocating and educating the industry on the power of data, how to create data interoperability and data pipelines into in Cloud infrastructure.
What does WHT mean to you?
It means a lot to me, and I have a personal connection and experience in which I was diagnosed with a rare cardio arrhythmia. As a child, nobody took me seriously, but as I grew to a teenager, doctors said it was hormones, and so as women, more often than not, we have doctors diagnosing us based on hormones. Therefore, WHT, to me, allows us to use data as a common language to interact with the healthcare system, to then make our feelings and intuition, real and actionable.
What was that catalyst for you that really made you decide to establish this company, Tour de Heart?
I never wanted to be limited and so by leveraging digital usage, it inspires people to choose to get well and provides them with the tools and the technologies that allow them to create that road map that is personalized for them to reach goals. So Tour to Heart provides education instruction, and finds those stories, and works with other athletes diagnosed with heart disease, in order to help them get their lives back. Thus, the premise is bringing these voices to the industry, and especially in the med tech and medical device area.
What is the impact or boundaries that you see when it comes to digital health?
In the past five years, we are having more discussions on digital health, and I have met with physicians to discuss patients showing up with data collected in the context of living their life. Now, with this comes challenges in the healthcare industry where we try to figure out what to do with all of this data, so it is not too overwhelming for these caregivers and physicians to utilize. So the challenge and opportunity now is managing the data, along with all of its components, without causing our physicians and healthcare workers becoming technicians as well.
We would like to extend gratitude to Heidi Dohse for her insight and time. To check out the video of the full interview, click here.