Historically, technology is a field dominated by men. This is about to change. Female technology, known more simply as FemTech, encompasses software, products and services, and diagnostics that use technology to improve women’s health. About 50% of the FemTech market consists of the Pregnancy & Nursing and Reproductive Health sectors; however, it is not solely limited to these categories.
FemTech is becoming important because people are increasingly seeing the vital role women play in creating and sustaining healthy families.
The fourth wave of feminism is making this concept even more pervasive. Women are now increasingly pushing for equality in all aspects of life, including the workplace and healthcare. Since women are dedicating themselves more and more to their careers, they are deciding to have children later in life. More and more women are thinking of themselves as individuals with their own needs rather than simply as people fulfilling certain socially prescribed roles such as marriage and motherhood. Therefore, they want to take care of their health in every sphere, including general healthcare, sexual healthcare, emotional wellbeing, pregnancy, fertility, and a lot more. The quality of women’s healthcare needs to be improved to meet these demands.
Other important FemTech sectors include Longevity, Healthcare, Diagnostics, Personal Care & Wellbeing, Beauty for FemTech, and PharmTech. Problems are tackled via platforms (e.g. apps and telehealth), DeepTech (e.g. AI, ML and big data), and devices (e.g. wearables, sensors, and remote patient monitoring.) The FemTech industry can be thought of as a continuum process: pre-care, during care, and post-care.
Valued at $18.7B in 2019, the FemTech market is expected to grow to $60B by 2027, at a CAGR of 15.6%. Despite increased interest from investors, the industry still remains underinvested; hence, it has a huge growth potential.
The reason female healthcare has garnered so much attention in recent years is that there has been a shift in the sociocultural paradigm. Because of that, many topics that were previously ignored can now be openly discussed. Increased awareness, early self-detection, and better management of illnesses by women of all ages have resulted in an increase in demand for technological solutions. Up until now, this demand hasn’t been fully satisfied.
The development of FemTech
With a total addressable market of over half of the world's population, FemTech has an extremely high market development potential. Despite this, women's health has been under-researched for decades.
Today, more and more research and development is being directed toward female healthcare. The growth of FemTech Longevity may partly be the result of the increasing gap between female healthspan and women’s rising lifespans. Women also spend more years suffering from age-related diseases than men. This creates an unmet need for products and services aiming to maximize female Healthspan that the rising FemTech Longevity sector is striving to fulfill.
The paradigm shift we are observing is helping the industry to thrive and providing the basis for its future growth. Female health issues are becoming less stigmatized. Society is now ready to discuss topics related to periods, female sexual healthcare, and menopause. The growing presence of telehealth is allowing women greater accessibility to healthcare services at different stages of their lives. According to the latest research, working-age women are 75% more likely to use digital tools for health than men. This trend is well reflected in the FemTech Industry.
In recent years, the FemTech Industry has revolutionized perceptions of women’s healthcare and its importance. There has been an increase in R&D in previously unexplored areas, such as menopause solutions, tracking apps, sexual healthcare, and mental health. In addition, the number of companies using AI is growing and will continue to grow in the coming years.
Recently, more investors have been turning their sights toward women’s health startups. Also, a large number of conferences and events dedicated to topics concerning women have been initiated. This has resulted in much greater awareness of the industry and increased investment. This positive externality is a direct result of the development of the FemTech Industry: women are becoming more accepted, and their health-related needs and desires are receiving more attention.