When you are highly passionate about bringing a positive change to the world, nothing can really stop you to achieve it. After all passion fuels purpose in life. Meet Dr. Elin Haf Davies, the CEO at Aparito – a digitized health care company that aims to provide the latest medical treatments’ access to patients with rare illnesses. Dr. Elin also holds the position of Chairperson of Metabolic Support UK, a revolutionary patient organization dedicated to supporting families(on a global scale) suffering from any Inherited Metabolic Disorders. Dr. Elin has had a passion for healthcare, ever since she was a child herself. She has worked for many years as a pediatric nurse and witnessing all the unnecessary ordeal patients had to go through for monitoring purposes fueled her dream to do something impactful in the healthcare field. Dr. Elin Haf Davies has an innate love for outdoor adventure activities. She has also helped raise a great amount of money for various charities through her passion for outdoor activities. Dr. Elin profoundly raises awareness about rare childhood disorders and illnesses. In short, you can say, Dr. Elin Haf Davies is an angel in disguise. Read on her interview further to get to know more about her exciting life! What made you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare industry? I always wanted to be a children’s nurse as a child and never imagined doing anything else. I think it was because my Mum had been a nurse. What were some challenges that you have had to overcome in your journey so far? I had an extremely fortunate and varied career. I have taken opportunities when they emerge and embraced them. What was your vision behind creating Aparito? Prior to starting Aparito, I had spent 18 years working clinically, academically and as a regulator supporting children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. I was always frustrated at how difficult it was to implement change within large organisations and therefore decided that setting Aparito would be a means, or a channel if you like, that I could implement the changes that I wanted to see without being constrained by other entities of working. I want to build a patient-centric approach to everything we do. Image Source: Aparito The pandemic has made it more difficult to physically access proper treatment. At such a time, do you think you have even more responsibility as the CEO of a digital health company? Covid has changed the way that the delivery of care is considered to be possible. Moving remote patient monitoring from nicety to necessity. This certainly brings responsibility but it also is an opportunity. Doors are currently opening which have previously been firmly shut, and that’s exciting. There is still a gender bias in medical care. For example, women are often underrepresented in research or their pain can often be dismissed by doctors. How do you think we can work on these problem areas? Women are underrepresented in every aspect of healthcare management, research, and decision-making. There has been more research for erectile dysfunction alone than on endometriosis, menopause, etc. This is staggering given that there are more women accessing healthcare (pregnancy, motherhood, caregivers) and providing healthcare (nurses and doctors). For years, 120 mmHg has been considered the normal upper limit for adult systolic blood pressure. The risk threshold for men that’s true, but for women, it’s 110 mmHg or lower. Systemic bias is always influencing us in a world created by men for men. Women need to be in the decision-making process and make their voices heard to change this. According to you, what efforts can be made towards educating girls about their bodies and reproductive health from a young age? We need to talk far more openly about our bodies. Women should understand that their bodies should also be there for their own personal enjoyment (sport and sex). Increased understanding and appreciation will lead to us respecting and loving our own bodies for how they function and feel – not just how they look, which can only be a positive thing. You also have a passion for trying extreme adventures, such as rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. How have these experiences added value to your life? My adventures were life-changing in terms of giving me the mindset that anything truly is possible if you set your mind to it. It also made me really appreciate my body for the machine that it is, not just for aesthetic purposes. The strength and flexibility that it has to take you through anything are phenomenal. Sport and physical strength can help immensely in that way too. Have these thrilling adventures influenced your approach towards your profession in healthcare? Absolutely – the body and mind can drive human bodies towards amazing achievements in sporting adventures and in healthcare Image Source: BBC Empathy is an important part of medical care. According to you, how can we as a society work towards being more compassionate towards each other? Extreme situations bring out the best and the worst in humans. We saw some wonderful expressions of kindness during this pandemic. We also saw that countries with female leaders fared much better. I strongly believe that’s because they are able to make compassionate decisions. What message would you like to convey to our readers at The Voice Of Woman? I would like to say that we women are inherently strong and capable. Never deny yourself or our society the value of your full and complete contribution to enriching our lives. ~ Elin Haf Davies.