Ordinarily Extraordinary - Conversations with women in STEM

102. Hayley Hoaglund, Madeleine Howard - Artificial Intelligence Tampon

March 30, 2023 Kathy Nelson Episode 102
Ordinarily Extraordinary - Conversations with women in STEM
102. Hayley Hoaglund, Madeleine Howard - Artificial Intelligence Tampon
Show Notes

Hayley Hoaglund and Madeleine Howard developed a tampon that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect cervical cancer without a pap smear. They share their journey with the intersection of women's global health, business, and tech.

Hayley has worked in health care and program management from rural settings to government level. From community level health efforts in the Peace Corps in Peru to working on program design and management within the Ministry of Health, she’s designed and implemented projects from the ground, up. 

Madeleine also works in global health and reproductive health both within the government and global health organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and US Global Leadership Coalition.

What do we talk about in this episode?

We talk about so many things on this episode! In addition to talking about the AI tampon itself, we dive into global health, women's health and reproductive health, how to normalize talking about women's health issues, the intersection of business, health, and technology.

  1. What is a tampon with artificial intelligence? How did this come about? 
  2. The goal of the AI tampon and how it can reduce cervical cancer and cervical cancer deaths globally.
  3. The importance normalizing conversations about women's healthcare and reproductive care.
  4. How to take an idea from concept to reality of a product on a shelf.
  5. They both share their journeys in global health and their experiences in health care working in other parts of the world.
  6. Global health spending and how the US spends 3X more on healthcare than any other developed country, without necessarily having better outcomes. But, we do have great medical care in the US.

Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio


USAID - Promotes and demonstrates democratic values abroad, and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. In support of America's foreign policy, the U.S. Agency for International Development leads the U.S. Government's international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. (https://www.usaid.gov)

Gender Based Violence (GBV) - refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality and the abuse of power. (https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/gender-based-violence.html)

John's Hopkins Carey Business School - the graduate business school of Johns Hopkins University, a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. (Wikipedia)

Women’s health has been underfunded and understudied for decades. Even though women make up 51% of the United States population, women’s health research accounted for only 10.7% of all basic research funding from the NIH in 2020. (https://medium.com/@karenrubin/why-womens-health-is-a-500m-problem-worth-solving-d0f3696e1c6a)

The U.S. spends three to four times more on health care than South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan. (https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2023/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2022)

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are third party companies that function as intermediaries between insurance providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. PBMs create formularies, negotiate rebates (discounts paid by a drug manufacturer to a PBM) with manufacturers, process claims, create pharmacy networks, and review drug utilization. (https://content.naic.org/cipr-topics/pharmacy-benefit-managers)