Dr. Julie Hakim
Image: Agapito Sanchez

Innovating For Women’s Health: An Interview With Dr. Julie Hakim

3 Minute Read

We cannot impact the future of healthcare without women in mind. In 1993 US Congress passed the NIH Revitalization Act, in which women were required to be included in clinical trials. Even with that regulation in place, women are heavily underrepresented in medical research. Women are asking more of their healthcare providers by giving voice to previously ignored needs. From menstruation to menopause, there is an abundance of opportunities to innovate for women’s health. 

I sat down with clinical innovator, Dr. Julie Hakim to expand upon what innovating for women’s health means from her clinical perspective. 

Image: Agapito Sanchez


Dr. Julie Hakim is an OBGYN and co-founder of FemTech Focus, a non-profit organization that facilitates awareness about technologies, services, and products that improve women’s health and wellness. Additionally, her work at Julie Hakim Lab at the Baylor College of Medicine focuses on conceptualizing the regenerative capacity of the vagina after injury toward developing novel therapies for scarless wound healing.  

 “The patients’ lived experience is what tells us as providers and innovators what is important,” says Dr. Hakim. “Innovating for women takes understanding what the health journey for a woman means, and being with her from menstruation through menopause.”


There are a multitude of opportunities for intuitive and practitioner-driven innovation in hard tech and data that will revolutionize the quality and patient outcomes in women’s health. 

Consumer packaged goods (CPG), menstruation, hormone fitness, vaginal health, and contraception are just some of the clinical needs where life science innovation can make an impact. However, revolutionizing women’s health means the acknowledgment and normalization of conversations specific to her needs.

Dr. Hakim shared that medical innovation at its core is about the human experience intersecting with healthcare to improve the patient’s journey. 

She never thought of herself as an inventor, but witnessing the same problem in the clinic year after year, pushed her to create better solutions for her patients.  She had an idea and knew she needed a 3D printer to make a prototype. That’s when she tapped into the Texas Medical Center community and found one located in Dr. Billy Cohn’s lab

“I didn’t read his profile on purpose. I didn’t want to talk myself out of it,” says Dr. Hakim. “I didn’t say, ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ I said I am looking to talk about it so I can brainstorm with someone.”

Her initial 12-minute phone call led her to meet Dr. Cohn and Alex Smith Ph.D., who became fundamental collaborators along a journey that would lead to the creation of a newly designed vaginal stent and ultimately the ability to impact women’s health at scale.

“The way I keep going is that I am married to the outcome. I am married to the solution. I believe in the outcome of women’s vaginal health being possible,” says Dr. Hakim. “No is just another word for focus. It took a strong mindset to take the no’s as important as the yeses because both are critical.”

Image: Stephanie Rodriguez

Over the last several years, we’ve seen many potential trailblazers quit when they’re told ‘no’.  At the same time, we see many entrepreneurs who overlook crucial feedback that would increase their likelihood of commercial success. Successful life science entrepreneurs effectively strike a balance between persistence and taking feedback.

TMC Innovation has cultivated a community of experts from diverse backgrounds creating an ecosystem where there is someone who will enthusiastically understand, support, and guide your vision.

“The power of community cannot be overstated and the richness of the diversity within the people in this community, Whether you’re an MBA, a student, a clinical, a society, a nutritionist, whoever you are, your ideas are important. You never know who is going to cross your path and benefit from interacting with you,” says Dr. Hakim.

Our community provides clarity for how to move forward when developing a novel healthcare product or technology.  Contact us to learn how you can convert your passion for providing patient-driven solutions into healthcare’s next innovative solution.


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