Femtech, a short form of female technology, encompasses software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology often to focus on women’s health. This sector includes fertility solutions, period-tracking app, pregnancy and nursing care, women’s sexual wellness, and reproductive system health care.
From wearable breast pumps to digital birth control, the Femtech market is gearing up to see an unprecedented wave of innovation.
The origins of femtech can be traced back to the 1960s, where the women’s movement focused on sexuality, family, and reproductive rights, reports Ossie Ravid and Danny Tobey in MobiHealthNews. However, femtech had to face many obstacles in the past. Less than 25 years ago, women were excluded from clinical trials and using contraceptives was taboo.
Now, there are several companies that are fueling the growth of femtech industry. A report by data research company PitchBook reveals that the femtech industry generated US$820.6 million and is on the patch to reach at least US$3 billion by the end of 2030. The huge amount of health issues that affect women differently than men is astounding, and there is an enormous demand that needs to be filled. Ava, Bloomlife, Flo, Woom and Kindbody are among the few companies helping the growth of femtech.
Despite many advances, addressing women’s health issues through research funding still came up short. When the FDA approved Sildenafil (a.k.a. Viagra) for use in erectile dysfunction in 1998, health issues faced by women – including sexual and menstrual wellness, fertility, endometriosis and menopause – were still considered taboo by many.
This was something that Ida Tin, CEO of female health app, Clue, wanted to change when she started her business in 2012 in Berlin. ‘Clue’ became a harbinger for other women’s health initiatives seen today.
Many similar apps and female-focused inventions have emerged alongside Clue, which was founded in 2013. Ava’s fertility tracking bracelet, for example, was a huge success.
The future of femtech looks bright. Experts anticipate seeing more investment from healthcare venture capitalists, which will grow the femtech industry.