Targeting almost 50 per cent of the world’s population, FemTech is a space worth watching
While essentially half of all people alive today are female, women’s health makes up just four per cent of current R&D funding for healthcare. Fortunately, this is beginning to change. In 2016, Clue founder Ida Tin coined the phrase ‘FemTech’ to refer to technology developed for female health. Clue, a period and fertility tracking app, was set up in 2013 with a specific focus on women’s wellbeing.
Aside from apps, FemTech comprises wearables, connected medical devices, and hygiene products. Some examples include smart breast pumps, a menstrual disc to replace tampons, and the use of artificial intelligence in cervical screenings. Another pioneering app launched in the same year as Clue is Glow, which also tracks periods and fertility via an app. Interestingly, Glow was started by PayPal cofounder Max Levchin. These products, platforms, and techniques are geared towards widening female access to healthcare on a global scale, empowering as well as educating women.
In the past year, FemTech has emerged as a promising investment opportunity. By the end of 2018, FemTech funding is expected to exceed $400m. Given that global funding had barely hit $100m five years ago, the increase is notable. Fast forward to 2025, and business consultancy Frost and Sullivan predicts that the FemTech market will be worth $50bn. As women become more aware of the technology that can transform their health, and more companies spring up to meet growing demand, the FemTech scene could get very crowded indeed.
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