Femtech Industry: A Promising Future Aheadby Analytics Insight January 2, 2021
In recent years, the technological field has taken revolutionary steps to balance gender disparities. It has led to the advent of a female-centric health technology market that utilises tech as the proponent for women’s health and overall wellness.
Femtech generally refers to software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology to support women’s health. The term itself was originally coined by Ida Tin, the Founder of Clue, a period tracking app, who introduced it during her discussions with investors and accidentally created the new category.
The femtech industry is comparatively young. Although it is still primarily underfunded, experts predict that it will grow exponentially in the future. Its market potential is estimated to be around a whopping USD 50 billion in 2025 to include more topics in women’s health and technology.
As mention earlier, the femtech sector is primarily concerned with addressing the entire lived experience of women. Innovations in this category usually fall into one of the below categories:
- Menstruation and period care products
- Fertility and birth control
- Pelvic health
- Chronic conditions and hormonal disorder
- Sexual wellness
- Breast feeding
- General healthcare
- Pregnancy and post pregnancy
The mainstream popularity of femtech arose after creating the first period and fertility tracking app in 2016. Since then, the concept of digital women’s health has been integrated into healthcare strategies to encourage women inclusion.
Factors behind the Success of Femtech
Various aspects have helped propel the agenda of femtech. More women are opting for tech roles that were traditionally held by men. As this representation grows, awareness of health issues, which significantly affect women, is increased. It has always been global healthcare providers’ mission to develop strategies that improve penetration into middle and low-income countries.
Infectious diseases are increasing in prevalence among women in several regions that have led to an upsurge of funding. Financial donations and grants of this nature work to digitalise women’s health. Women across the world can access several services and products because of femtech. Some companies operate a telemedicine app that provides free or paid consultations and provides prescriptions.
Femtech as an Innovative Crossroad
As many entrepreneurs venturing into female technologies increase, women are becoming more discerning about the products they use on their bodies. Femtech ventures to promote innovative substitutes to educate and destigmatize issues for girls and women on a global scale while promoting environmentalism. Today, there are numerous startups, policy formations, and tech enterprises that design and develop female wear.
For example, corporations are using AI-powered moulding machines to mass-produce biodegradable disposable or reusable tech gadgets for period care like menstrual cups so that they can reduce the colossal waste burden. These hygiene products are projected to minimise economic and environmental costs significantly while helping achieve the UN 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs) of 5 and 6.
Challenges Faced by the Femtech Sector
For all the strides being made in the digital world, femtech still faces a lot of constraints. Women living in urban areas are more likely to have access to internet and mobile phone connectivity as compared to the women living in remote areas. It is straightforward to access people who are educated and more receptive to change than it is to the majority of the population in India who cannot access education that allows them to accept the challenges that they are facing at such a rapid space.
It is the responsibility of new-age, female-oriented health companies to mobilise efforts to reach out to women amongst the masses. They must do their bit to contribute towards busting myths and clarifying taboos that exist around issues like menstruation and menstrual hygiene, fertility and reproductive health by educating them, and encouraging them to voice their problems. It gives even more of an opportunity to shatter myths, correct assumptions and clarify doubts that have pervaded for centuries.
Despite these challenges, there has been many press coverage and social campaigns that have played significant roles in spreading awareness on sanitation, menstruation, mental health, reproductive health and fertility, especially towards those living urban and semi-urban areas.
The Future of Femtech
There are currently a few hundred startups in the femtech marketplace. Their primary focus is on women-based care like fertility tracking and pregnancy apps. A notable percentage of these entrepreneurial endeavours are owned and run by women.
Seeing more investment from healthcare venture capitalists is anticipated and it will shape the femtech industry. Within a forecast period of ten years and with the help of affordable and accessible technology, the service segment is speculated to expand. Emerging global economies will also enhance the spread of smart medical devices and wearables. There will also be the development of more apps and products due to an increase in research and funding towards general women’s health.