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5 Important Female Inventors in Healthcare

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

International Women's Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is a day to recognize the contributions of women to society and to raise awareness about gender equality. In the field of medicine, women have made significant contributions through their innovative inventions that have revolutionized healthcare. To honor these women, here are five important female medical inventors who have made a lasting impact on the world.


Maria Artunduaga

Inventor Maria Artunduaga

Maria Artunduaga is a Colombian-American biomedical engineer and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Respira Labs, a medical technology company that has developed a wearable device to monitor lung function in patients with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The device is non-invasive, affordable, and can be worn continuously, allowing patients to monitor their lung function at home and receive timely interventions when necessary.

Dr. Artunduaga holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Georgia Tech and Emory University. Prior to founding Respira Labs, she worked as a data scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as a researcher at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in healthcare in 2019.


“With a device that is affordable, we definitely envision going anywhere, literally, throughout the world.” - Maria Artunduaga


Patricia Bath

Inventor Dr. Bath

Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019) was an African American ophthalmologist, inventor, and academic who made important contributions to the field of ophthalmology. She was the first African American woman to receive a medical patent.

One of Dr. Bath's most significant invention was the Laserphaco Probe, a medical device that uses lasers to remove cataracts from the eye. Dr. Bath's invention made cataract surgery more accessible to patients in developing countries. In addition to her contributions to medicine and ophthalmology, Dr. Bath was also an advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in science and technology. She founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and co-founded the Black Ophthalmologists Association and the Women's Eye Health Organization.


"My purpose in life is to save sight, and particularly, to save sight for women and minorities." - Patricia Bath


Letitia Geer

Inventor Letitia Mumford Geer

Letitia Mumford Geer (1852-1935) was an American inventor and entrepreneur. She is best known for her invention of the modern medical syringe, which she patented in 1883. Before her invention, syringes had to be operated with two hands. Her invention was described as "a hand-syringe" comprised "of a cylinder, a piston and an operating-rod which is bent upon itself to form a smooth and rigid arm terminating in a handle, which, in its extreme positions, is located within reach of the fingers of the hand which holds the cylinder, thus permitting one hand to hold and operate the syringe."

She was the first woman to receive a patent for a medical device, and her invention revolutionized the medical field. Geer's syringe was widely used in hospitals and medical practices, and it is still used today.


Letitia Geer was the first woman to receive a patent for a medical device, which has revolutionized the medical field.


Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Engineer Dr. Richards-Kortum

Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum is an American bio-engineer and educator who has made significant contributions to the field of biomedical engineering. Dr. Richards-Kortum's research focuses on the development of low-cost, high-performance medical technologies, which benefit developing countries. Her work has included the development of portable, battery-powered imaging devices that can be used to diagnose cervical and oral cancer, as well as other medical conditions.

In addition to her research, Dr. Richards-Kortum is also an advocate for science education and outreach. She has been involved in several initiatives to promote STEM education, particularly for young women and underrepresented minorities. She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to science and education, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Award.


"I've always been inspired by the opportunity to use science and engineering to improve the lives of others, particularly those in low-resource settings." - Dr. Richards-Kortum


Dr. Nina Tandon

Engineer Dr. Tandon

Dr. Nina Tandon is an American biomedical engineer, entrepreneur, and author who has made significant contributions to the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. She has developed techniques for growing human heart tissue outside of the body, which could be used to develop new treatments for heart disease. She has also developed methods for growing bone tissue using a patient's own stem cells, which could be used to repair bone defects and injuries.

In addition to her research, Dr. Tandon has written several books and is a frequent speaker on topics related to science, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Dr. Tandon has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including being named a TED Fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a Crain's New York Business "40 Under 40" honoree.


"The future of medicine is personalized, precise, and regenerative." - Dr. Nina Tandon


International Women's Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and to recognize the challenges they face. It is a day to acknowledge the contributions of female medical inventors who have made significant contributions to the field of medicine. These women have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of female inventors. Their inventions have saved countless lives and improved the quality of life for many people around the world, and it is important to continue celebrating these women.


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