British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
Femtech or “Female technology” is a phrase applied to software, diagnostics, products and services that use technology to target women’s health. This includes reproductive health, pregnancy and nursing care, pelvic and uterine care, general healthcare and much more.
The economic burden for women’s diseases is predicted to surpass $500 billion. Most women’s healthcare products are packaged and advertised as beauty products.
Most spending on other diseases are focused on male research, which is in fact separate from research funding on explicitly male-oriented diseases.
Since men’s health solutions are extremely different than women’s health, it’s time to focus on gender-specific funding and technologies.
In our recent webinar, “Femtech: Empowering Women’s Health,” featuring Lindsay Meisel from Ava Science and Jackie Dayton from Kindara, we explain in-depth the current trends, opportunities and barriers in the Femtech industry.
If you missed the webinar, don’t worry. Below is a recap of what we discussed.
Trends in the Global Femtech Market
BCC Research analyst Smruti Munshi, states that the Femtech industry has gained a lot of coverage in the last decade and demonstrates immense potential—the need for gender specific solutions are increasingly being recognized.
- About $200 billion in funds is going towards Femtech products each year.
- Feminine hygiene products have been valued at $30 billion in 2015, and until recently, it has not seen much advancement since 1920.
- 2015, Femtech start-ups raised about $82 billion in funding from investment firms.
- In 2017, the total amount of funding raised by Femtech companies since 2014 had reached $1.1 billion.
Global Market Opportunities and Barriers
- Asia is now the target market for the usage of Femtech products rather than the creators of them. With China’s focus of pushing female leaders in the political sphere, China is shifting towards more female empowerment. This grants the opportunity for a new generation of entrepreneurs to advance in Femtech.
- Africa and Latin America
- Similar to Asia, Africa and Latin America are considered consumers rather than developers of Femtech products. There is a large focus on supplying sanitary pads, condoms, pregnancy kits and insurance in both continents. Africa is flourishing regarding women’s empowerment and disease recognition but is struggling to find a way to have these two consolidate.
- Europe and North America
- Both of these places are “hotbeds” for Femtech products and investors— there is a large consumer base for these products. However, European companies usually raise less money than American companies for Femtech products.
- Investors and companies in Australia have not fully understood the importance of Femtech products yet—the startup organizations in the country are moving to Europe or North America to find better funding opportunities. Also, women’s products are being casted to male investors who do not recognize the advancements in this industry, which is why investors are struggling to fund these products.
Future Marketing Projections
In 2018, less than 10% of decision makers at U.S. venture firms were women, concluding that female issues are not accounted for as much as they deserve. Since Femtech is a relatively new industry, there is room for innovation and improvement in women’s health.
In the past three years, an estimated one billion in investments has been bought into women’s health technology. Over the last decade, 365 venture capitalist investors have also participated in deals within this industry.
Munshi states that the three big market trends that are coming together are technology and connectivity, the female sword and the rise of health and well-being.
Below are the top five growth opportunities in Femtech that are going to disrupt the women’s healthcare market.
1) Improving access to care for women in remote areas
Our society sees women’s healthcare issues as unpermitted areas, which makes it hard for women to find medical care and healthcare advice. CareNX Innovations provides smartphone-integrated care diagnostics more accessible to women in rural areas. Other healthcare companies such as Maven Clinic and Celes Care are working towards making care virtually accessible to women in their homes.
2) Women managing their own health with digital technology
Unfortunately, women are less likely to have self-insurance coverage than men, or they have to invest more because the life expectancy for women is higher than men. Femtech applications are working towards making healthcare management available to women at a lower cost compared to current products.
3) Digital health changing the grounds for reproductive health
Fertility, pregnancy care and maternal care are important areas, particularly for women with later pregnancies or who are at a higher risk of problems due to physiological factors. With new Femtech products, there are more services related to egg freezing, embryo screening and fertility treatments.
4) Approaches based on prevention of female-specific chronic diseases
There are applications in this area that create awareness, health coaching, medication management and screening of diagnostic diseases. The impact of these Femtech applications making this screening accessible to a large population of women is high.
5) Improving women’s overall health and wellness
Femtech also improves healthcare by making it more personalized to each patient, more practical and less intrusive. Artificial intelligence and data analytics will improve the effectiveness of screening and diagnosis. Regarding general wellness, Femtech can also improve pelvic and uterine health, urogenital health, menstrual health, mental health and fitness.
To learn more about the Femtech market—trends, products and opportunities—download our recent market research report, “Femtech: Empowering Women’s Health”