New Life Sciences Entrant Is Good for Barbados

Export Barbados (BIDC) has been leading the charge to help Barbados become the life sciences and biotechnology island of the Caribbean, and Barbadian businesses emerging in that sector are eager to offer their services to the world. Such is the case with BioConnect Medical Centre, the only clinic in the Caribbean explicitly devoted to women transitioning through the stages of menopause. BioConnect is revolutionizing the treatment of menopause and how women see it.

On a recent tour of the facility by a team from Export Barbados (BIDC), led by Chief Executive Officer Mark Hill, Medical Director Dr. Roberta Corona explained that BioConnect Medical Centre is the manifestation of her dream of creating a safe space for women and filling the gap in health care and research on menopause. Dr. Corona, the only certified menopause practitioner in Barbados, explained that menopause is not simply related to gynecology; it affects every function of a woman’s body. BioConnect’s goal is to treat menopausal women holistically, making them healthier women.

In addition to providing gynecological services and menopause management tailored for each woman, BioConnect offers treatment for hormone optimization, bone health, incontinence, sexual health, weight management, and aesthetic medicine.

“We are here for the world; we are not here only for Barbados. We are in Barbados because we found Barbados was the perfect location for this. It is the perfect place to serve the Caribbean, where there is a huge lack, even bigger than in Barbados. Our mission is to create a Menopause Society for the Caribbean to create a community that will bring women together, and it will be a platform where we provide education, evidence-based medicine, and . . . a community for women to exchange experiences,” said the medical director.

(From left) Medical Director of BioConnect Medical Centre Dr. Roberta Corona and Chief Executive Officer Rachel De Gale speaking about the services the new medical facility offers.

(From left) Medical Director of BioConnect Medical Centre Dr. Roberta Corona and Chief Executive Officer Rachel De Gale speaking about the services the new medical facility offers.

Chief Executive Officer Rachel De Gale disclosed that the clinic, which opened on May 23, 2022, welcomed 125 new patients in its first month as it pursued the mission of changing the health-care landscape and promoting complete wellness. The clinic welcomed patients from the Caribbean and North America. The BioConnect team is especially pleased about the tremendous support and technical assistance it received from Export Barbados (BIDC), and it is ready to do its part to help Barbados achieve its life sciences goal.

De Gale added, “If you take a look at your telephone screen and you type ‘B,’ ‘I,’ ‘O,’ 246 comes up; it is the area code of Barbados. Barbados was always destined to be the bio life sciences headquarters of the world. No one else has our area code, and now it’s time for us to rise up; it’s time for us to be the leader.”

(Right) Chief Executive Officer of Export Barbados (BIDC) Mark Hill speaking about the future of the life sciences sector in Barbados. Looking on is Medical Director of BioConnect Medical Centre Dr. Roberta Corona.

(Right) Chief Executive Officer of Export Barbados (BIDC) Mark Hill speaking about the future of the life sciences sector in Barbados. Looking on is Medical Director of BioConnect Medical Centre Dr. Roberta Corona.

Mark Hill, CEO of Export Barbados (BIDC), described BioConnect as a trailblazer helping to fulfill a vision for life sciences in Barbados. He stated that the life wellness market is growing between five to 10 percent annually, and he is confident this is a space that Barbadians can invest in and see returns.

CEO Hill stated, “We’re shaping it out that those life-centric industries can use Barbados as that hub to really build out the sector, do research and development, and also to build out scalable industries but high-value services and products. I’m really excited about menopause as a specific, targeted niche area that is catering to women all over the globe, domiciled here in Barbados and in partnership with tourism. We are positioning the life sciences space where we have an ecosystem that makes access to scientific technology a lot more affordable.”

BioConnect intends to conduct studies to gather data and write guidelines specifically for women of color because most studies or guidelines target Caucasians.

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