BCS Women's Health Strategy Campaign is gaining momentum under the leadership of Hema Purohit FBCS. Arnoldis Nyamande reports.

Despite living longer than men, women spend a greater proportion of their lives living in ill health. Behind this story is another; not enough is known about health issues that affect women’s bodies specifically. For example, when it comes to clinical trials, female-specific and often taboo issues like miscarriage and menopause are underrepresented.

A lack of research based on women’s experiences also means that even with conditions that affect both sexes, more is known medically about how illnesses impact men’s health. For example, research by the British heart foundation showed that coronary heart disease kills twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK. However, there is a widespread misconception that it's a ‘man’s disease’. This lack of risk awareness could mean women are less likely to recognise they are having a heart attack, leading them to delay seeking help. Women typically arrive at hospital later than men when having a heart attack, contributing to delays in treatment.

This imbalance in health research and understanding is also making itself felt in the world of sport. Paralleling the booming global passion for women’s football is a crisis for female players experiencing career-threatening anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. An underinvestment in women-first research around preventing and fixing ACL injuries is to blame.

It is against this backdrop of bias and inequality that the BCS Women's Health Strategy Campaign was launched. The campaign focuses on reshaping, broadening and deepening the conversation about women's health in the UK, and at the movement’s heart is a belief that science and technology can and should play a part in levelling the health divide.

Launch event

The campaign’s launch event on June 23 2023, held at BCS’ London offices, marked a pivotal moment. The event garnered widespread attention and participation, bringing together an array of stakeholders, experts and advocates who share a common goal: revolutionising women's healthcare.

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The campaign has gained this momentum under the leadership of Hema Purohit FBCS. Her strategic acumen and dedication have set the campaign in motion and garnered enthusiastic support from diverse quarters. The event’s roundtable discussion, attended by a dynamic group, exemplified the impact of BCS' leadership in creating a platform for constructive dialogue and collaborative action.

The success of the Women's Health Strategy Campaign owes much to Hema’s visionary leadership, whose passion and expertise have galvanised a community of change-makers. BCS remains committed to driving positive change as the campaign moves forward.

The vision and role of BCS

The BCS Women's Health Strategy Campaign is poised to make a substantial impact by:

  1. Policy influence: championing a robust campaign leading to the next General Election to shape ministerial policies
  2. Strategic partnerships: collaborating with Wired to heighten visibility, raise awareness, and establish collaborative working groups
  3. Policy advocacy: advising the Labour and Conservative parties on women's health policy, offering expert guidance
  4. Global engagement: collaborating with international partners to drive positive change for women's health on a global scale
  5. ThinkTank formation: establishing the Women's Health ThinkTank to facilitate collaboration among women, startups, and suppliers
  6. Healthcare enhancement: actively working to elevate the standard of healthcare services for women

Campaign roadmap

The campaign will follow a strategic roadmap:

  1. Leadership: spearheaded by F-TAG Digital Health & Social Care
  2. Collaboration: partnering with Wired and a consortium of startups will ignite momentum
  3. Knowledge dissemination: disseminating insights through whitepapers, blogs, vlogs, and ministerial agendas
  4. Political engagement: influencing party conferences with a distinct point of view
  5. Policy impact: engaging with Labour & Conservative Digital for policy influence through BCS' authoritative stance
  6. Roundtable launch: kicking off with a dynamic roundtable on June 23 at BCS HQ, uniting key stakeholders

Significant milestones achieved

BCS has already achieved remarkable milestones:

  • Successful launch with Wired on March 23, which signified significant support and investment from Wired Publications
  • Wired's commitment to spotlighting women's health in all January 24 publications
  • BCS's pivotal role, including Hema’s F-TAG leadership and campaign socialisation
  • Collaboration with Labour Digital, culminating in a high-impact roundtable in mid-June at Westminster
  • BCS’ Launch & Kick Off on June 23, featuring an interactive roundtable and the inauguration of the Women's Health ThinkTank