There have been gender disparities throughout the medical field for the longest time. Femtech has been attempting to combat this by providing services and products that cater specifically to women.
What is Femtech?
Femtech is the “software, diagnostics, products and services, that use technology to support women’s health”. The term was coined by Iva Tin, the founder of the period tracking app, Clue. Femtech is an umbrella term for all concerns and health products that focus on women. These include menstruation and period care products, fertility and birth control, menopause, chronic conditions and hormonal disorders, pelvic health, pregnancy and post-pregnancy, breastfeeding, sexual wellness, and general health care.
Value of Femtech
As a growing industry, femtech is on track to pass at least $9 billion in 2024. This makes sense because studies have shown that a higher percentage of women are more likely to use digital health tools than men. Because of this rapid growth, female-centered medical areas are evolving.
- Fertility- Fertility happens to be the most profitable of these areas. They are estimated to reach $46 billion in sales by 2026. Some apps can track fertility and alert women to when they are the most fertile. They can also provide self-monitoring systems for those trying to conceive.
- Menstrual care- Similarly, there are plenty of apps that let women track their menstrual cycle and provide additional health information that allows the app to better cater to the users’ needs.
- Nursing- For a working woman, nursing means taking valuable time out of their workday to find a private place to nurse. A piece of equipment that has helped avoid this problem is the under-the-shirt pump. It allows women to pump privately without removing themselves from their work.
- Pregnancy- Another health area that has plenty of apps, is pregnancy. There are apps that guide women through their pregnancy with information about the baby and themselves. The pocket-sized ultrasound machine has been a lifesaver for women in underdeveloped countries that might not have proper screening equipment. They can have access to their baby no matter where they reside.
- Sexual Health- Information and resources, such as STI testing sites, have been made easier to access through apps that women can download and use as needed.
Challenges Faced by Femtech
Within every industry, there are challenges and femtech is no different. The first being the lack of funding for services and products, especially in low-income and underdeveloped areas. Right along with that, smartphone apps and wearable devices are not realistic for rural and marginalized regions. Finally, the final challenge is a fear of imposing a “pink tax”. The pink tax being an extra charge that is put on products that are specifically targeted towards women.
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