Ep 26: Confronting Sexual Attacks Through Technology | Liesel Vaidya and Madison Campbell

Liesel Vaidya and Madison Campbell are co-founders of Leda Health Company. Using their expertise in technology and epidemiology, they teamed up and innovated on a kit that can be used to collect evidence, gather data and report.

In today’s episode of the HealthTech Hustle, Liesel and Madison will share their advocacy against sexual assault and show the steps they took to turn the skepticism into an opportunity and how you can launch into something bigger.

“Never lose that childlike quality of having an active imagination and knowing that something can fail but you will pick yourself up again and you will make it and succeed.”- Liesel Vaidya [25:17]

What is your background? [00:52]

Liesel and Madison founded Leda Health Company which was formerly called MeToo Kits Company in 2019. It initially started with a do-it-yourself examination kit designed for victims of sexual assault which can be utilized at the safety of your homes.

As advocates against sexual assaults, they pushed to make a difference in the lives of other people who went through or could still be going through these ordeals.

All they needed was a clear view of how much attention is needed in this field and how lacking the system is in the area of innovation and technology that can aid the survivors in knowing what courses of actions they can take to redeem themselves from the injustice they suffered.

Using their expertise in technology and epidemiology, they teamed up and innovated on a kit that can be used to collect evidence, gather data and report from the survivor with utmost confidentiality, and make assessments on the information that have been collected.

The kit has undergone several upgrades and further innovations and is still currently being polished using both software and hardware technology to ensure a more holistic approach to sexual assault treatment will be covered.

How did they identify the problem in the healthcare system and the first steps they took to offer solutions? [12:58]

They found out there wasn’t much of a resource available to help and get a jumpstart on the courses of actions a sexual assault survivor should take. There was no application or technology available that could help them report the incident and be attended to as fast as it happened, capture evidence in a more timely manner, and record in confidence all the information documenting the incident. They both decided to innovate using this experience and came up with a technology that offers an easier and more convenient way for survivors to handle the experience they had to go through, on a more holistic level.

How did you get the word out about your company and reached the people you wanted to reach? [05:37]

They utilized technology to raise awareness to the media, and sent an email to the president of universities. They combined their skills and expertise, and reached out to people highlighting the value of their product and what it can do to help solve the identified problem.

What are the obstacles they encountered and what steps did they take to overcome them? [17:12]

Fundraising has been a great obstacle for them and the only reason they had been successful was because they have failed a lot of times. They focused on the thought of fundraising and reviewed the cases of individuals who have higher standing in life in the financial aspect. They agreed that some of the wealthiest men happened to be not the best kind of people. After these well off individuals have been isolated and made it on their list, they spent 90% of investment calls painting a story to these individuals and most often got their buy in because of these painted stories.

How did they earn the trust of people on their product? [10:49]

During the initial launch of the sexual assault assessment kit, there were a lot of skepticism about the product and the company even received a cease and desist order stating that they are practicing unfair trade and the tool lacked credibility to be used as evidence in the court. Liesel and Madison defended their product and made further enhancements involving hardware and software technology to ensure the collection of evidence is done thoroughly, flawlessly, and accurately. More so, it covers all the other aspects that a normal process cannot cover because the survivors feel more confident and at ease using the kit instead of taking the risk to rehash the incident in person to a person they don’t feel comfortable relating the details to.

What advice will they give to their 20-year-old selves? [27:48]

Follow your guts when you meet people and understand who’s good and who’s bad. Think of life as half of a coin and imagine the best version of yourself and then be that person.

Liesel Vaidya and Madison Campbell answer the rapid-fire round of questions. [26:18]

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