Julian, the passion for the health of a woman born from a personal experience.
She is a businesswoman and business angel in the digital health sector, passionate about women's health. I-VITAE Advisory Board, Juliane Zielonka shares her experience in the healthcare market of the DACH area and her extensive opinion leaders network. It provides support to businesses operating at the intersection of science and technology. He is the founder of a portal in German, dedicated to all women with fertility problems, who provides scientific knowledge to support her in choosing the best care for their family health and planning.
Juliane, can you tell us about you as an entrepreneur?
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset. The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity. It’s an intense and very authentic experience with a lot of ups and many downs, because usually the goal is so bold that it takes a lot of assertiveness and endurance to build every tiny piece of the puzzle. You can also be in a company and think like that. It’s a strong sense for problem solving and envisioning things others cannot see but you as the entrepreneur already have this vision as your goal.
I built a patient portal in 2011 for German speaking women suffering from uterine fibroids in search of a suitable treatment (uterus-myomatosus.net). It offers the chance for an individual informed choice because it shows all scientifically validated treatment options and points to phyisicans for a 2nd opinion.
I partnered with physician’s associations to make sure I keep an eye on the women’s needs and gain support from not only one doctor but their associations. Soon I found out there’s much more than only the cure of fibroid related symptoms..undesired childlessness. I build a whole case for women and couples trying to conceive by planning coaching programs focusing in mind&body to ease the burden of temporary infertility, also including unexplained infertility. I’m happy to share 3 years of extensive knowledge with I-VITAE”.
Why did you choose to focus on women's health?
“Personal story. I’m the typical patient turned entrepreneur because noone seemed to have a solution to an obvious problem that affects many women when I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids at the age of 37. Fibroids are non-cancerous tissue growths in women’s wombs that can have an effect on fertility. The only option offered to me ‚if I had no childwish‘ was hysterectomy. I thought this can’t be true and started researching myself for organ saving alternatives, because even at 37 I didn’t want to close my window of opportunity regarding child wish.
Women’s health to me is still under represented in science. If you look at clinical trials which are mandatory for new treatments and therapeutics, it still seems to be a ‚one size fits it all‘ approach. But we women are 50% of the world population. We have a different hormone system, so why is there not more gender specific research and studies? I am convinced that biomarkers and everything related to a precise diagnosis will lead to a highly matching treatment option instead of the ‚one size for all‘ approach.
Every woman is unique and so is her metabolic system and her very own circumstances regarding her child wish. Giving life is a huge gift and so precious that every woman has to be handled with the highest respect and care. Sometimes I miss this is school medicine due to pressure in health care systems. ”.
Do you find a difference between Germany and Italy in how to tackle women's issues?
“I sense a cultural diversity. Here in Germany it’s quite common to put young women on hormonal contraceptives aka the pill. Most women choose to study and therefore their family planning sometimes happens later than nature has preserved. There’s a decrease of endocrinologists who are experts in women’s hormonal systems. A good way to know your body is to educate yourself from medical experts, talking to other women by sharing experiences and relying on scientific facts. I find the common magazine "literature" mostly too flat and having conceiving troubles is still a big taboo. Time for a change, right? ”
What is the "thread" that links science to technology?
“Sourcing out your brain. Technology should assist us in our informed decision making, not making the decision for us. Collecting data is one tool, understanding your emotions and trusting your intuition an unbeatable source”.
From woman to woman, is the relationship easier and more direct?
“Hmm… I haven’t been the fly on the wall at a men’s stag party, though I’d to! :)
I think communication is not gender specific, but a tool that is the ground base of every good and intimate relationship. Every relationship depends on respect. Respect for yourself and for your husband, friend, partner, loved one. Respect requires intimacy which means knowing about yourself and being known by others for who you really are in all aspects of your life. If you’re able to verbalize who you are and what your needs are and how you feel, you are vulnerable. Vulnerability requires courage and every one who speaks openly about feelings is admirable..”.
What did you find in I-VITAE and why did you choose to work with this innovative Italian startup?
“It’s a great team! The way how they communicate among each other is so respectful and this respect combined with the bold vision based on two ingredients: science and technology to support women in conceiving naturally. How could I not say yes to share my experience and knowledge with them?
Besides I like Italians by their cultural background and I have started learning the language. For me i-vitae is the innovative corner stone for precision medicine, the future of our health and wellbeing. Let’s make sure we help as many women as we can worldwide in conceiving naturally!
Giornalista Medico Scientifica
Editor in Chief