Recently, BBC reported that Dr. Astrid Linder has invented a female crash test dummy. Now here’s why this piece of news deserves a mention…
First, the idea for this invention stemmed from the need for a stark change in matters of women’s safety and health awareness— the most commonly used dummy has been based on the average male build. In addition, the example illustrates how scientific innovations are one of the ways in which the status quo can be challenged. This invention could inspire a change in how we view women’s health and nutrition and leverage technology to explore viable solutions for the same.
Lack of women’s health awareness
Based on a recent survey, we now know that a whopping 51% of women in India are dealing with health issues. A healthy diet and other lifestyle changes may be important for general well-being. However, in order to improve women’s health and nutrition, we need to address the inadequacies in our understanding of women’s bodies.
Gaps in knowledge — the need to make research inclusive
Did you know that women with diabetes are more susceptible to heart disease than men, or that women present heart related issues differently than men?
Even though there are biological differences between women’s and men’s bodies, women have largely been under-represented in clinical trials. Our understanding of the causes, consequences, and treatments of various diseases, therefore, is aligned with the male physiology. This historical lack of research of women’s health concerns has impacted women’s awareness about their own bodies, as well as the healthcare they receive. The lack of women’s health awareness around reproductive health issues like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has led to a knowledge gap in the causes and treatment methods of these health conditions, too.