Tech Tackles Touchy Topics


A positive byproduct of the consumer healthcare boom is that certain “hidden” conversations are being pulled out of medical settings and into everyday life.

An article about sexual health apps not replacing conversations provided me with a springboard to explore these ideas.

While I agree that the place of health apps is not to replace human conversations, it is a way to normalize them and to enable more conversations to take place easily.

With tech consistently pulled to the top of our news feeds, more health issues - especially sexual health and women’s health - feel more “top of mind” as new apps and products are launched. As a result, more conversations ensue, laws change, communities are formed, op-eds are written, and so on.

When sexual health startup startups gain traction and get media coverage, people have a natural conversation-starter for topics that might once have been socially “off-limits”. For example, perhaps seeing an article on TechCrunch about a company prescribing STD treatments or at-home HPV test empowers young people to ask more questions in the same way that Serena Williams opening up about childbirth death rates for black women sparked more conversations about equity in healthcare.

Besides providing products and services, health-tech and fem-tech companies can reduce the barrier to entry for two people to engage in a conversation just by existing. And recently, it feels like there have been more conversations around me - everything from UTIs and infertility to PrEP treatment.

It’s interesting to see the role technology and health tech companies play in allowing conversations about people to speak openly about things that were historically less talked about.

Naomi Shah