From fertility to menopause, we take a look at the femtech startups disrupting women's health.
From pregnancy and childbirth to menstruation and menopause, women face unique health challenges throughout their lifetimes. They also tend to use more healthcare services and spend more dollars on healthcare than men.
Historically, traditional women’s health services have inadequately met patient needs, especially in stigmatized areas such as sexual health, and challenges related to lack of access, convenience, personalization, and gender bias persist. For example, about 1 in 5 women have had a provider dismiss their concerns, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey.
Women’s negative experiences in traditional healthcare settings are not without consequence: studies show women are diagnosed later than men across more than 700 diseases. The recent reversal of Roe v. Wade — a landmark ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right in the US — is expected to exacerbate some of these existing challenges, such as access and quality of care.
In recent years, a growing number of femtech startups has emerged to address the issues facing women’s health, and these startups are gaining substantial investment as a result. Over the past decade, investment in femtech, or female technology, has exploded. As recently as 2017, less than $900M was being invested in the sector, but funding soared to an all-time high in 2021, with women’s health and wellness startups raking in nearly $2.7B.
Companies in the femtech space develop and offer a mix of software, products, and services to address issues that only affect women and individuals with female biologies or affect them in a unique way, with the goal of equipping women with more accessible and personalized care options. These startups are poised to play an important role in transforming the traditional women’s health experience, especially during life stages surrounding puberty, reproduction, and menopause.