Tuesday, December 6, 2022

IWD: FemTech continues to empower women on global scale

IWD FemTech continues to empower women on global scale

Every year, the role of women in tech becomes more supported, as more female entrepreneurs and C-level executives take the helm at an even larger rate than before.

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is all about inclusivity, with the event’s website describing the theme #ChooseToChallenge as follows:

“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”

With that in mind, the fact cannot be left out just how FemTech is growing and continuously improving women’s health and empowering them on a global scale.

Femtech (female technology) is an emerging term and is poorly understood, as is the case with most new concepts. While some relate Femtech only with products unique to reproductive health (including consumer products), others dismiss it as just another term for a group of existing solutions.

However, experts at U.S.-based market research firm Frost & Sullivan believe it is a unique space and a place for new growth opportunities.

According to a report by the firm, the global Femtech market was valued at $487 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $522 million by the end of 2021. Fertility solutions will drive the industry’s expansion, reaching $217 million by the end of 2021, followed by menstrual care solutions hitting $168 million by the end of this year.

Both segments will be powered by increased adoption and implementation of telehealth and mobile health for next gen Femtech solutions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges women face, and many new products and technologies have grown out of this pandemic. The time has come for female technology to become mainstream, as so far, women’s health is still in the shadows,” said Reenita Das, Partner and Global Client Leader, Healthcare & Life Sciences at Frost & Sullivan.

Das highlighted that Femtech still continues to be the stepchild for digital health, as there are very few Femtech products catering to tracking and monitoring these diseases. Discouragingly, the maximum funding for Femtech is only 6.64 percent of the total digital health funding for the year.

“There is no doubt that the road ahead for Femtech is a holistic approach, the ‘one-for-all’ should transform to a ‘one-to-one’ personalized care,” she added.

In parallel, Suchismita Das, Industry Analyst, Healthcare & Life Sciences at Frost & Sullivan notes that service providers should start “focusing on unaddressed women health areas such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and mental health.” Menopause is another open growth opportunity area in the Femtech market, with few solutions tackling obstacles in this space.

Frost & Sullivan identified five critical success factors for the Femtech market to thrive:

  • Accessibility with respect to cost and outreach programs in developing countries would increase the customer base.
  • Driving adoption and adherence through government policies and insurance or reimbursement agencies.
  • B2B partnering with large public hospitals, healthcare companies, public health entities, and NGOs, which have deeper distribution channels for mass screening and awareness campaigns.
  • Customized revenue models based on the application of Femtech solutions, like renting devices for a limited period of use.
  • Developing affordable solutions and focusing on the least explored aspects of women’s health.

While there are many ways to increase the role of women in tech, focus days such as IWD are important to raise awareness for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the next step then remains in taking tangible action.