There have been gender disparities present in the medical field for a long time. Thankfully, there has been a rise in feminine-focused technology. Femtech is the most recent idea to hit the health care sphere with the sole purpose of helping women.
What is Femtech?
Femtech refers to the “software, diagnostics, products and services, that use technology to support women’s health”. The founder of Clue, a period tracking app, coined the term. As explained, femtech envelops all health concerns and products that women may need assistance with. 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.
The Value of Femtech
Femtech is constantly growing it is set to at least pass $9 billion in 2024. This is to be expected, as studies have shown that a much higher percentage of women are more likely to use digital health tools than men. With this type of growth, most female-centered medical areas are evolving.
- Fertility- This area of health care is the most profitable. The fertility industry is estimated to reach $46 billion in sales by 2026. Apps that can track fertility are alerting women when they are the most fertile and providing self-monitoring systems when trying to conceive.
- Menstrual care- Similarly, there are hundreds of apps that allow women to track their menstrual cycle and input health information that will better cater the app to their personal needs.
- Nursing- Having to nurse during a workday usually requires a woman to leave her work and find a private room to do so. The under-the-shirt pump has been an innovation that allows working women to perform this natural function without having to be distracted from their work.
- Pregnancy- There are hundreds of pregnancy apps as well. They guide women throughout their pregnancy with information about the baby and themselves. An interesting tool that has been helpful to pregnant women is the pocket-sized ultrasound machine, giving women access to their baby no matter where they are, specifically in underdeveloped areas where there is little to no medical equipment.
- Sexual health- Easier access to STI testing sites has been made possible with smartphone apps. Those same apps provide information and resources about sexual health that women may need.
Challenges Femtech is Facing
Every industry faces its challenges, and femtech is no different. The first is the lack of funding for services and products, particularly in low-income and underdeveloped areas. Similarly, smartphone apps and wearable devices are just not realistic for rural and marginalized regions. Finally, there is a fear of introducing a “pink tax”. A pink tax being an extra charge that is added to products that are specifically catered towards women.
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