As we learn on this episode of Busine$$ of the V, the speculum represented a major advance for women’s health … back in the 1800s! So it’s not surprising that Dr. Dweck and Rachel’s guest often gets the following reaction when she introduces her new take on an old device: “Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?” or “It’s about time!”
Fahti Khosrowshahi, CEO & Founder of Ceek Women’s Health, shares the genesis of her innovative new speculum – from research and development to the patent process and field testing for both providers and patients. The feedback? Uniformly positive! Goodbye to “the metal cowboy,” as some of Alyssa’s patients call the metal speculum that has been synonymous with pelvic exams for generations and generations. The Nella NuSpec Vaginal Speculum has arrived!
Watch the Ceek Women’s Health Interview
As narrow as a tampon and made of a gentle, quiet polymer material, this new device improves visibility for practitioners and reduces the repetitive strain injuries many sustain after years of wrestling speculums that are either loud, hard to grip, lacking in visibility or all of the above. Just as importantly, the NuSpec offers women of all ages a completely modern, smooth, temperature-neutral pelvic exam experience.
Long-term Fahti believes the NuSpec’s comfortable design will be transformational for women who are resistant to the cold, metal speculum that – until now – was their only option. Thanks to NuSpec, women will be less likely to dread pelvic exams or avoid important annual and follow-up appointments. On the user side, providers will find the new device, with its comfortable grip and unique lateral sidewall feature, a game-changing substitute for the archaic instrument that was until now the industry standard.
It’s no surprise that Time Magazine named the Nella NuSpec one of 2020’s best inventions. Enjoy this conversation about how Fahti founded Ceek Women’s Health and took the NuSpec from start-up concept to the innovatively designed, patented device long overdue and most welcome in OB-GYN exam rooms of the 21st Century.
About Fahti Khosrowshahi
Fahti Khosrowshahi has been a leader in the healthcare space for more than 15 years. She has broad cross-functional experience spanning pharma, biotech, and medical devices. She is passionate about bringing innovation to women’s health and challenging the status quo experience by introducing products that are designed by women for women.
Ceek Women’s Health Interview Topics:
- Fahti shares a bit about her story and what prompted her interest in frontline women’s health care.
- Alyssa shares her anecdotal experience of how women perceive the speculum.
- How and why Ceek partnered with a consumer product design firm that made patients the focal point of their research and testing.
- The NuSpec development process included multiple required design elements:
- Improved cervical visibility.
- Integrated sidewall retractor.
- Narrow upper and lower “bill.”
- Temperature-neutral material, not cold to the touch.
- Quiet operation.
- One-handed locking.
- Comfortable grip for practitioners with hands of all sizes.
- Angled handle.
- Light placement
- Ergonomic issues are real – and Alyssa as well as her fellow OB-GYNs are being affected by repetitive stress injuries and arthritis.
- How about patient response thus far? Ceek’s new speculum comes as a very welcome upgrade.
- Tracy Bennett, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, walks Alyssa and Rachel through a step-by-step explanation and demonstration of Ceek’s new speculum, including its unique lateral sidewall feature.
- Alyssa refers to recent medical panel reports minimizing the clinical benefits of pelvic exams for a-symptomatic, non-pregnant women – a development Fahti refutes with her personal perspective on the importance of prevention and early detection of gynecological issues of all kinds.
- Fahti gives a market update: A limited release in August 2020 will soon be followed by a re-launch as pandemic subsides.
- A dream come true! The Nella NuSpec Reusable Vaginal Speculum by Ceek Women’s Health is named among Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020.
- What’s ahead for Ceek in terms of NuSpec manufacturing and distribution, as well as other pipeline products designed to serve women’s health.
- The discussion wraps up with Fahti’s heartfelt reflection on her personal story and the message she hopes to model for young girls and women: Anyone from any walk of life can imagine, develop, build and send big ideas out into the world.
- HOTFLASH: More than 55,000 clinicians in the U.S. perform speculum exams as many as 30 times a day – more than 60 million per year!
04:05 – “I wondered, ‘Why would all these (women’s health centers) be using this yucky metal speculum?’ I googled it and there really wasn’t anything aside from it available.” (Fahti)
04:52 – “This archaic instrument, typically made of metal or plastic, can be super-uncomfortable and very threatening.” (Alyssa)
06:07 – “We wanted a material that wasn’t metal.” (Fahti)
08:04 – “We worked with a group of providers who were super-tough on us.” (Fahti)
12:03 – “Before I spent the money on developing the speculum I had to know what was in the open IP (Intellectual Property) space, so we did a lot of research beforehand.” (Fahti)
15:20 – “The reactions we get from providers and also are hearing from the patients is, ‘Wow, what a fantastic experience!’ ” (Tracy)
15:45 – “It was very important to us as a company to make (exams) for both patients and providers a better experience overall.” (Tracy)
20:35 – “We have a team behind us that really work closely and is really passionate about women’s health.” (Fahti)
21:33 – “The focal point of all of our products is to make the gynecological exam – frontline care for women – easier for providers.” (Fahti)