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Change in the world of technology is the normal state, this is not a new notion and events such as the pandemic has accelerated the rate of change immensely. One of the segments within this tech world is that of FemTech, the term first thought to have been coined in 2016 by Ida Tin (Danish Co-Founder of the menstrual tracking app Clue) to encompass services, tech, products etc linked to empowering and improving the health and wellbeing of women. To many an unknown continent in this tech world but one which is rapidly growing.

The FemTech industry is accelerating, last year in 2022 it was estimated to be worth $5.79 Billion and Fortune Business insights predicts a CAGR (compound annual growth rate ) of 17.4% so potentially worth over $20 Billion by 2030. This means FemTech will be in the top growing quartile of industries in the coming years, beating the global investment banking market (5.9%), the global real estate industry (5.2%) and even the pharmaceutical market (5.7%).

With this acceleration in industry growth, it is not surprising that investors are taking an interest and investment has seen a recent surge up 15% from December 2021 to over $16 billion by July 2022 (FemTech Insights).

Though why is this industry growing? Healthcare and its application as a whole has largely been skewed towards the male gender. Clinical trials which identify, mould and map drugs, dosing, patient pathways etc were based upon their study population, which, up until 1993 included male subjects. Women were not included in clinical trials until 1993, which means the majority of the 19,000 drugs on the market were predominantly based upon men. This has had a massive impact on the outcomes of women. In 2000, the New England Journal of Medicine published data demonstrating that women are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed and discharged from hospital while having a heart attack. Also it is now recognised that plague builds up differently in men’s arteries than women’s, so treatment is not as aggressive as it should be for women. Also there has been a reluctance to include women in trials due to the nuances of how the female body works, how the hormones impact the body and companies reluctant to have historical tragic events repeated – such as those from the drug thalidomide, used to treat morning sickness, which resulted in the FDA banning the inclusion of women of reproductive age in pre stage clinical trials.

So many of these patient pathways, drugs, dosing and treatments are not fit for the purpose of Women’s health.

But tech is changing this……

The female body is unique, and technology is revolutionising how women perceive their own well-being. The advent of FemTech has led to a vast amount of data being collected through wearables and tracking apps. This data has allowed patterns to emerge and has the potential to bring about transformative changes.

Thanks to this data, women can now gain insights into their bodies, including variations during their menstrual cycles and the impact of specific foods or fluids on their breast milk production while breastfeeding. Previously sensitive topics have become more openly discussed, thanks to the availability of data and information.

As a result, women can now monitor various aspects of their health and gain a deeper understanding of their internal processes. Armed with this knowledge, they can then make informed decisions about their next steps. Whether it’s reaching out to healthcare professionals, engaging in physical activity, staying hydrated, engaging in sexual activity, pursuing specific treatments, or adjusting medication dosages, FemTech has empowered women with these choices.

The field of healthcare is constantly evolving, and FemTech is accelerating these changes specifically for the benefit of women.

 

Vive La FemTech!