SGA’s Outlook - trends that will shape the future
By Dr Siddhartha Dutta, Practice Head Healthcare
Looking back: Femtech focus in 2021
The era of the second wave of coronavirus infections increased anxiety and health issues among the female population, worldwide. While many complained of painful menstruation, others missed their regular periods. Cramps, nausea, anxiety, and depression were reported commonly from women who were infected by one of the many COVID-19 strains. Companies in menstrual health benefitted the most, followed by wellness and mental health. The global market size of women health app was $7.8B in 2021.
Until 2021 Femtech service providers focused on menstrual health, menopause, sexual health, mental health for women, lactation, postpartum depression, and dating services (Bumble, Tinder, etc.).
Potential Business Opportunities in 2022
Trend #1 - Apps to track/prevent violence against women/Road safety
Rising cases of domestic violence during the pandemic and online harassment against tech-savvy women has made this segment the next most opportunistic segment in 2022. Apps addressing abuses by type (cultural, emotional, sexual, financial, psychological, and physical) are expected to be popular.
The market is valued at less than $25M (2021) and has high potential.
Market gurus predict that this segment will grow at more than 25–26% CAGR during the period 2025–2030, globally and offers high returns for investors who plan to enter in 2022.
Each market has a few players with limited services.
Potential Regional Players
Country of origin / Available
Helps victims track behavior and experiences
Currently available only in Australia
Enables users to locate their nearest support center, assess the safety of a relationship, and access information about different forms of abuse and how to help a friend that may be affected
>10 European countries
Enables enhanced access to the police in an emergency
5 European countries
Safe travel app for women
Some of the other players are Eyewatch, Guardly, INFOCRATS Web Solutions, Life360, Mobile Software, Safetipin, and Smart24x7. Most of them are regional or country based.
There are no apps for women travelers who are travelling across countries, cities, or regions.
The ones that are available (mostly on road safety and domestic violence) support users in local language only
Most of the Europe-based apps are dependent on service providers, such as Vodafone; if the user switches network, then they face disruption.
Trend #2 – Apps to track/monitor mental health in women
During the pandemic and lockdown, mental health took the center stage among women. Many complained of trauma due to loss of near and dear ones, while domestic violence, job loss, fear of being left alone, and loneliness were among other reported cases. These women widely sought help from medical literature and google search. However, available apps on mental health were downloaded and the number is growing. Mental health issues are still not discussed openly in civil societies and women prefer to hide or seek help through apps or trackers.
The competition is limited and regional in the women safety segment.
This segment has more audience than PMS or menstrual health.
This segment is mainly dominated by scientific studies and NGO helplines
There are no apps for women who can get help without disclosing details (patients from mental health segment prefer to remain discreet).
Trend #3 – At-home vaginal testing for other-than-pregnancy like conditions
Home-based pregnancy kit is a sprawling segment, though home testing for vaginal discharge is much needed for many. UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections can be easily detected for the pool of patients or users who believe in self-medication, globally.
It’s a nascent market and currently there are a few players in the market
AOA, a company owned by Oriana Papin-Zoghbi and Anna Jeter is bringing to market, the first accurate early-stage non-invasive ovarian cancer diagnostic test by analyzing the tumor markers in blood of the user.
Another team at the University of Hull, under Prof/Dr Barbara Guinn is working on a pregnancy-like test to diagnose endometriosis that is capable of instantly identifying a biomarker they believe to signify the presence of the condition.
This sector is mainly dominated by lab diagnostic tests and patients who get themselves diagnosed visit physician/obys-gynae clinics for cure. There is no way to self-help.
Most of the kits or discoveries are in prototype stage and expected time to market is more than 3–4 years.
Segments other than PMS, menstruation, and sexual health will gain momentum
Investors will look for innovative and novel ideas in women health. Similar models and technologies will struggle to make a mark in the market.
Apps with an universal appeal will be used and downloaded in countries including the US, India, and South Korea.