The future is FemTech
Forget FinTech, FemTech is on the rise. Estimated to be worth $60 billion by 2027, FemTech — a term coined only 6 years ago by FemTech entrepreneur Ida Tin — is far more than a money-maker. It’s changing the lives of women and girls for the better. For those not in the know, FemTech refers to technology designed to improve the health and wellness of females by providing solutions to challenges that exclusively, disproportionately or differently affect women and girls.
Perhaps the most well-known sector within FemTech focuses on supporting women during their reproductive years. This includes period trackers, such as Clue (the brainchild of the aforementioned Ida Tin), breastfeeding trackers, such as Glow, and fertility window detectors, such as the multi-sensor bracelets created by Ava.
There are platforms, such as Maven, connecting women to fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum services. There is also a swathe of innovative technology for medical screening, from at-home foetal genetic screening to pre-eclampsia risk assessments, and the first-ever non-hormonal contraceptive (cleared by the FDA), Natural Cycles.
There are biotech startups tapping into the power of bioinformatics and machine learning to reveal the effects of vaginal microbiomes on women’s fertility. There are new menstrual products that are revolutionising the staid tampon-pads industry, offering everything from organic menstrual products to period underwear.
The ever-popular CBD is also making its debut in FemTech with new and developing products to ease period pain and pain caused by other gynaecological conditions. Meanwhile, UK-based Elvie continues to lead the way with cutting-edge breast pumps and pelvic floor trainers.
Expanding areas of FemTech
As FemTech continues to grow and diversify, innovators are putting more investment into a growing demographic — women over 40. A wise move considering that by 2030 there will be over one billion women aged over 40 and the population growth rate for women over 60 is predicted to far outpace any other age group.
While Natural Cycles is providing non-hormonal birth control, Kandy Therapeutics is developing non-hormonal treatments for menopause symptoms. Meanwhile, the UK-based platforms, Peppy and Stella, are helping connect menopausal women with healthcare practitioners who can provide specialised support.
FemTech is also expanding into areas of healthcare that aren’t exclusive to women but affect them differently. Take heart disease, the number one cause of death in women worldwide, which can occur at a younger age in women due to additional female risk factors, such as preeclampsia, preterm birth and inflammation caused by autoimmune conditions that are more common in women. Swiss FemTech firm CorDiFio is on the case, focusing on an AI-powered platform to improve heart disease diagnostics.
Healthcare tech continues to be dominated by tech made for men by men and there is still a stigma associated with many female health issues. However, as research continues to reveal the different ways men and women respond to disease and therapeutics, the market is wide open for FemTech to disrupt it with its revolutionary products and we can’t wait to see where the future takes us.
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