Progressive, Low-Intervention Medical Devices & Instruments for Reproductive Health

Adonica Shaw
5 min readJan 2, 2024

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to my company Midicals, low to mid-intervention medical devices designed by a midwife ( in residence).

Initially conceived to house Amaara, a groundbreaking line of patent-pending vaginal speculums, Midicals has evolved into a passionate endeavor to revamp various instruments and tools commonly used in women’s reproductive health. As someone deeply entrenched in both clinical and holistic realms as an out-of-hospital midwife in residence, I couldn’t help but notice a growing gap between these worlds. Hence, Midicals is my attempt to build bridges and reimagine devices in a way that’s not just patient-centric but equally supportive of professionals on both sides of the table.

And today as I roll out the company vision, I wanted to share more about The Opportunity, The Why, The Environmental Benefit, and The Global Impact.

The Opportunity; There’s a growing market for low-intervention medical devices and Femtech Innovation.

The global women’s health devices market size is expected to grow to 95.16 billion (USD) by 2030.

Further, the global femtech market, valued at USD 5.1 billion in 2021, is poised for significant expansion with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% from 2022 to 2030. This growth is propelled by a surge in health consciousness among the female population, fostering a normalized and proactive approach to addressing women’s health issues. Factors such as increasing disposable income, rising digital literacy, widespread smartphone penetration, robust internet connectivity, and the emergence of startups dedicated to women’s health contribute to the market’s upward trajectory. The proliferation of smart wearable devices further fuels market development, providing innovative solutions for female health tracking.

Notably, the femtech sector witnessed the founding of 45 to 50 new startups in 2020, raising an impressive USD 2.5 billion in funding during 2020–2021. This surge in funding, marked by a 105% increase for digital health startups focused on women in 2020, signals significant growth in the FemTech market, offering promising opportunities for businesses in the years ahead. Manufacturers of smart wearable devices and developers of advanced mobile applications are strategically aligning their efforts to efficiently address women’s health needs, providing users with comprehensive tools to track their health, access informational content, and engage with healthcare professionals or female communities.

Why; There’s a demand for low-intervention medical devices by physicians, integrative and functional professionals, and midwives alike.

In reproductive healthcare, a growing demand for low-intervention medical devices is reshaping the way we approach medical treatments. One of the primary driving forces behind the clamor for low-intervention medical devices is the desire among patients for less intrusive and more comfortable medical treatments. Traditionally, medical interventions have often been associated with invasive procedures, lengthy recovery times, and potential complications. With the advent of advanced technologies and materials, there is an unprecedented opportunity to develop devices that offer effective treatment without subjecting patients to unnecessary discomfort.

Low intervention devices, such as minimally invasive surgical instruments and diagnostic tools, allow for quicker recovery times, reduced scarring, and lower risk of complications. Patients are increasingly becoming advocates for their health, seeking options that align with their preference for less intervention without compromising the efficacy of the medical procedures.

The Environmental Benefit; A progressive approach can emphasize environmental sustainability and reduce waste.

In addition to meeting patient needs, the push for low-intervention medical devices aligns with the global imperative to address the environmental impact of healthcare practices. Traditional medical devices often contribute to the growing burden of medical waste, which poses a significant threat to the environment. The production, usage, and disposal of single-use medical devices contribute to pollution and resource depletion. The health sector contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, with the US healthcare system alone accounting for more than a quarter of this environmental impact. Statistics reveal that the health sector is responsible for 4.6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with pollutant air emissions mirroring this proportion.

In the United States, the healthcare industry’s pollution results in the loss of up to 614,000 disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) annually, underscoring the substantial public health burden associated with environmental pollutants. Over the past three decades, the healthcare industry, particularly in high-income nations, has increasingly relied on single-use disposable medical devices.

These devices, which form a significant part of the healthcare supply chain, contribute to the linear economy paradigm, characterized by a “take-make-waste” approach. This unsustainable model leads to ecological degradation, depleting natural resources, and generating substantial solid waste, greenhouse gases, and other harmful environmental emissions. The consequences extend to air pollution, soil and water contamination, ozone depletion, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, and climate change. To counteract this trend, there is a rising interest in the development of reusable medical devices made from sustainable materials like wood or plastic.

By creating products that can be sterilized and used multiple times, manufacturers can substantially reduce the volume of medical waste generated. This not only benefits the environment but also presents a cost-effective and sustainable solution for healthcare facilities.

The Global Impact; Material Innovation Can Improve Device Accessibility & Affordability to Under-resourced Countries

Material innovation in medical devices holds immense potential for improving accessibility to maternal and reproductive health solutions in under-resourced countries. These innovations can address critical challenges such as cost, durability, and adaptability to diverse healthcare settings. Traditional medical devices can be expensive, limiting their availability in resource-constrained settings. However, breakthroughs in materials science can lead to the creation of affordable, high-quality devices that are accessible to a broader population.

The use of innovative polymers, composites, or bio-based materials can significantly reduce production costs without compromising performance. Moreover, the customization of materials for maternal and reproductive health devices can ensure cultural and environmental suitability.

Innovative ways to customize devices can be developed with cost-effective manufacturing techniques that can be easily adopted in underresourced regions. This could include 3D printing, which would allow for more localized production, and less shipping and storage costs. Tailoring materials to specific regions and communities can enhance the acceptability and effectiveness of these devices. For example, devices designed with materials suitable for tropical climates or easy maintenance can thrive in environments where traditional devices may struggle.

As we look forward to sharing my Midicals with you, I can’t help but be optimistic.

The environmental benefits are palpable, and the global impact is within reach. For me, this announcement represents my journey of innovation, collaboration, and my commitment to shaping a future where healthcare is not just effective, but compassionate.

I believe we can transform the world in a way where the environment thrives, and where everyone — regardless of geography or circumstance — has access to quality reproductive healthcare.

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Adonica Shaw

Adonica Shaw is the founder of Wingwomen, a doula and a midwife in residence.