In this episode, we dive into a topic that is changing rapidly and that is the topic of reproductive health. I invited the founders of two companies that have developed technologies to help women and men to measure and improve their reproductive health, and they made a terrific duo on this topic. Lea von Bidder is the co-founder and president of Ava Science, which is the company behind the women’s wearable called Ava Women. Also on the call is Greg Sommer, he’s the founder & chief science officer at Sandstone Diagnostics, that’s the company behind the men’s health product Trak. Between the two of them we cover both sides of the reproductive health equation. They share some great insights on the topic, and the new solutions available to help women and men with easy-to-use, discrete, home-based products that you’ll find interesting.
I always learn something from our guests, and one of the things I learned on this episode is that for men, our overall health is so closed tied to reproductive health that sperm count is actually being called by some the sixth vital sign. Even if you’re not trying to conceive and those days are ahead of or behind you, I’m sure you’ll also learn something from our guests.
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- What are the typical challenges faced by men and women in regards to their fertility
- How lifestyle (weight, smoking, exercise) affects fertility and how it can be managed to improve fertility
- The clinical definition of infertility and how many couples are affected by it
- The huge human and financial cost of infertility, and the inaccessibility of
- How to address fertility challenges by involving both men and women
- How conceiving a child is a ‘team sport’ and what can be done do to address both sides of the fertility equation
- The role of sperm as the ‘sixth vital sign’
Links and Resources Mentioned
- Greg Sommer, Founder & CSO at Sandstone Diagnostics, Inc. on LinkedIn
- Greg Sommer on Twitter
- Lea von Bidder, Co-founder and President Ava Science, Inc. on LinkedIn
- Lea von Bidder on Twitter
- Don’t Cook Your Balls – A light-hearted guide to men’s sexual and reproductive health
- Trak Fertility (website) – At home sperm test
- Trak on Twitter
- Ava Women (website) – A cycle tracker that detects five fertile days per cycle or provides insight about sleep, stress, and resting heart rate.
- Ava Women on Twitter
- Don’t Cook Your Balls on Twitter
- Digital Health Events
- Dan Kendall on Twitter @ HealthTechDan
- Join Digital Health Today
The First Ava Baby!
Lightning Round Answers
1- What advice do you have for others working to innovate in healthcare?
“Just go for it. The graveyard of great ideas is far too big. The most important thing is to really just try it.” Lea von Bidder
“Those who can really focus on reducing costs I think are more likely to be successful.” Greg Sommer
“Very important to focus, that’s easier said than done, you need to be incredibly laser focused especially if you’re an early stage startup.” Greg Sommer
2- We make a contribution to a charity in appreciation of your time on the show – what charity have you selected and can you tell us a little about what they do?
Movember – By 2030 we’ll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
Planned Parenthood – One of the leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education.
ABOUT THE HOST
As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.
On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.