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Lydia Graflund

Making healthcare for women more talked about, accessible and mainstream, SSE alum, entrepreneur and podcast host Lydia Graflund is combining her business background and patient-centered approach in her daily work.

Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.

I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of the femtech company EsterCare. We digitize specialized healthcare for women and will release our platform in the beginning of the summer. My role is to set out the company strategy and ensure that we execute on it on all levels and fronts. It’s also within my responsibility to enable the team to perform their job in the best possible way, and to make sure we have financial stability. In a startup organization this means that my tasks are high and low, from going to various meetings with investors and calculating budgets, to writing employment agreements, and making sure we have an office to go to.


What interested you in starting EsterCare and Gynpodden?

We are three Co-Founders at EsterCare. It’s me, my sister Helena Graflund Lagercrantz and our CTO Björn Helgeson. It all started when my sister, who is a specialized doctor within gynecology, realized how much of the female healthcare that can be provided through digital means in a much more efficient way than through physical meetings. I, on the other hand, am well aware of the enormous need for more alternative ways of seeking specialized female healthcare as a patient, and here is where our journey began. We started with our podcast Gynpodden, where we set out to educate both women and men about the female body and topics related to women’s health. We have several chief physicians and other specialized professions on the podcast shedding light on scientific facts about the female body, which is much needed in a digital world overwhelmed with non-scientific news. The next step is to enable women to seek specialized healthcare through our app, EsterCare.


What would you like to see improved in healthcare knowledge and delivery when it comes to women’s health?

I hope that the knowledge level within female healthcare will increase over time, leading to more women understanding when to get help and also where to seek it in order to increase their quality of life. With EsterCare, we also hope to increase the level of availability of reaching a specialized doctor or midwife regardless of where in the country you live. We want less women to suffer in the dark by enabling women to get specialized help, which can in a much faster way help them back to normal life. I personally believe this will have a positive effect on gender equality in our society, since there is a high number of women and girls today that do not get the help they need, leading to them being home from school/work several days per month, when help is actually available to them.


How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?

SSE gave me the foundation to embark on the journey I am on today. Through the high pace of the education, with students studying hard and problem solving complex situations, to the social aspect where you surround yourself with like-minded people and an important network. SSE helped me develop and accelerate my strengths, which I believe is important to find as you set out in your career.


Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?

Focus on finding what you feel passionate about and what motivates you. It’s really not easy and may take some time, so don’t get stressed if you haven't figured it out yet. Start somewhere, try things - sometimes you will find the right way fast, and sometimes you’ll hit rock bottom, and that is also ok. I’m a firm believer this is the way to understand yourself and where you want to belong, which in the end I believe will make you happy - which is what it’s all about, right?


What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?

Energy, guidance, friends.