Jillian Levovitz (CEO, FemHealth)
Jillian is an experienced healthcare executive and consultant with a passion for comprehensive strategy development and a strong aptitude for complex problem-solving. She recently became the CEO of female health startup data platform FemHealth Insights. Her journey in healthcare began when she founded and managed a network of pain management and neurology clinics. She later pivoted to become the Founder and CEO of OcciGuide, the first device used in the emergency care setting to treat migraines, a neurological condition that disproportionately impacts women.
Throughout her career, Jillian has gained extensive experience in many areas of the healthcare and life sciences industry. She has consulted on projects propelling solutions to various health conditions and care challenges such as novel medical devices, diagnostics, wearables, machine learning algorithms, and Pharma/therapeutics to successful outcomes.
Can you explain your job to a five-year-old?
At FemHealth Insights, our mission is to drive forward research, investment, and innovation in the realm of female health and wellness. To achieve these goals, we support all parts of the female health and wellness ecosystem with resources, including data and insights. We have a vibrant community of people who collaborate and share experiences. We also have a network of mentors who are passionate about supporting other members of the community.
In addition, we maintain an extensive database of the forward-thinking companies actively innovating to enhance outcomes and improve the quality of life for women. This database serves as a valuable resource, assisting larger companies and funders in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the landscape. It helps identify opportunities, pinpoint areas of potential growth, and highlight the sources of exciting innovations within the female health and wellness space.
At FemHealth Insights, we are committed to catalyzing positive change in female health and wellness by facilitating collaboration, providing vital information, and nurturing innovation throughout the ecosystem. Together, we are advancing the cause of women's health and wellness.
What excites you most about your job?
The ability to make a real impact on the state of healthcare for women. I love being able to help both early-stage and late-stage companies build game-changing solutions that address significant problems and improve outcomes as well as working with stakeholders to strategize ways to improve access to these innovations.
Which trend will change the future of medicine?
Significant advancements in healthcare have greatly enhanced our capacity to deliver personalized medicine to patients. These include highly targeted immunotherapy treatments for cancer, as well as the utilization of advanced data analytics, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies excel at delving deep into extensive datasets, uncovering intricate patterns and connections that might elude conventional methods. The result is the potential for more precise diagnoses and tailored treatment recommendations.
But the really exciting part is that we are able to take a fresh look at a substantial body of physiological and biomarker data we've historically relied on, which often came from studies dominated by male patients. With these new tools, we can start to understand health in a much more personalized way, making sure that treatments and recommendations are tailored to the individual, incorporating consideration of sex, race, and ethnicity.
Looking back, which trends have you missed or underestimated?
That would definitely be the persistent challenges inherent in trying to integrate cutting-edge, innovative healthcare practices into the standard of care. It's a constant source of surprise and disappointment that, even when we possess knowledge that these innovations can significantly improve outcomes and patient’s quality of life, their adoption remains a struggle. One example that particularly stands out to me is the dismal statistics around maternal mortality.
Despite the existence of numerous tools designed to facilitate remote patient monitoring, which can proactively detect problems and allow for timely interventions, their use has not yet become standard practice, partially because they are often not covered by private or public insurers.
Thankfully there is growing attention on the need for better research and more innovation surrounding female health and wellness, but less focus seems to be devoted to the crucial task of delivering existing capabilities to patients.
Which MedTech initiative or startup deserves more attention?
There are two tools that I think are particularly exciting right now. I believe that the integration of medical devices for remote patient monitoring with companion apps designed to facilitate sustained behavioral changes holds the potential for a profound impact on the realm of health and wellness. Empowering patients with tools to implement and maintain lifestyle modifications can lead to healthier lives and a decreased risk of developing numerous chronic conditions.
Additionally, the development of AI tools tailored to assess patients' symptoms, conduct virtual physical examinations, and analyze laboratory results represents a significant breakthrough in healthcare. These tools hold the promise of expediting diagnoses, a particularly vital aspect given that women, on average, experience a delayed diagnosis by up to four years for many prevalent health conditions. Furthermore, these AI solutions have the potential to empower non-physician practitioners to diagnose and treat complex medical conditions, thereby substantially broadening access to healthcare services.
Crucially, these algorithms can be continually updated with the latest research findings and medical knowledge, ensuring that patients receive the most advanced options for prevention, treatment, and ongoing monitoring. However, it's important to note a significant caveat: the effectiveness of these algorithms hinges on the quality and inclusivity of the data they are trained on. Addressing biases and ensuring representation of underrepresented patient groups is essential to the development of reliable diagnostic tools.
Where would you put a million dollars?
AI/ML tools to support physicians.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've ever received is to strive to be the best version of myself and not spend time trying to be someone else. It emphasizes the importance of both self-acceptance and self-improvement based on one's unique qualities and attributes. Additionally, the advice encourages recognizing both strengths and weaknesses, leveraging strengths, and seeking out individuals who complement one's skills and abilities. In essence, it highlights the value of authenticity, self-awareness, and collaboration in growth.