Innovating to improve women’s health and safety: Women and wearable technologies


By ITU News

Last year, the Women of Wearables was awarded as a finalist for the EQUALS in Tech Awards for their work to support women as leaders and innovators in the ICT sector.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day we caught up with Marija Butkovic, Founder and CEO, to discuss how wearable technologies are improving women’s health and safety, and how to support women innovators in the sector.

How can wearable technologies improve women’s health and safety?

Our Women of Wearables (WoW) Carmina and Aditi are perfect examples of female founders building wearables that can improve women’s health and safety.

Carmina Santamaria is the founder of Kwema, a wearable tech start up that helps women in situations of danger. It is a smart bracelet that can call for help in just 3 seconds. It’s a beautiful piece of jewellery with a secret weapon. Once the hidden button on the bracelet is pressed, it will contact friends and family, the authorities and also others nearby who can provide help immediately.

Aditi Chadha is Founder and Chief Product Officer at DAZL, which builds connected devices for women that detects, communicates, documents and deters attacks on women, enhancing their safety and building their confidence.

In addition, Nimb is another company improving safety for women. It’s a smart ring with a panic button that alerts friends and family, emergency services and other Nimb wearers nearby. It was designed after one of the founders was stabbed 9 times.

How can we ensure these new technologies empower women – both as users and creators?

Women are often primary caregivers, hence a lot of technology they develop focuses on providing solutions to things people really need help with. In my opinion, women really focus on end use, need and function.

Take, for example, Hadeel Ayoub who created BrightSign. It’s a glove that translates sign language on your smartphone app, thus enabling people who don’t know sign language to understand the deaf.

You were nominated for the EQUALS in Tech Awards last year in the Leadership Category. How does this global award help to advance women leaders in the field of tech?

Only when women get visibility through awards like this can we hope to have more female role models inspiring us.

“We cannot be what we cannot see. Being nominated has given us a voice and a platform, as well as provided us with great visibility within network of women in tech and women in business globally.” — Marija Butkovic, Founder and CEO

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