Ladies’s healthcare permits higher outcomes for ladies sufferers and shoppers,
traders and different stakeholders throughout the worth chain, and society at giant. We discover many of those alternatives, and the broader context through which they’ve developed, in a associated article, “Unlocking alternatives in ladies’s healthcare.” On this article, we focus particularly on FemTech: defining what it means, taking the measure of its already spectacular progress, and exploring its potential to assist higher match sources, expertise, and capital to ladies’s unmet well being wants.
The time period “FemTech” was first coined in 2016 by entrepreneur Ida Tin. In the midst of just some years, it has grown to embody a variety of technology-enabled, consumer-centric merchandise and options.
For functions of this analysis, we analyzed 763 FemTech firms, designated as largely tech-enabled, consumer-centric options addressing ladies’s well being, excluding biopharma and incumbent medical units. We included choose nondigital client merchandise (with supplies science improvements), units (which might be affected person pleasant), and well being clinics (which might be consumer-centric). We excluded firms which might be greater than 20 years outdated or should not centered solely on ladies’s well being (diagnostics, dietary supplements, telemedicine). Firms with
each males’s and ladies’s well being options have been included within the information set however have been excluded from funding calculations.
In the midst of just some years, FemTech has grown to embody a variety of technology-enabled, consumer-centric merchandise and options.
FemTech offers a variety of options to enhance healthcare for ladies throughout plenty of female-specific situations, together with maternal well being, menstrual well being, pelvic and sexual well being, fertility, menopause, and contraception, in addition to plenty of common well being situations that have an effect on ladies disproportionately or otherwise (reminiscent of osteoporosis or heart problems). Whereas it’s nonetheless early days, our analysis signifies that the dynamics underlying FemTech are accelerating: public consciousness, firm formation, and funding are surging (Exhibit 1).
FemTech firms are already validating their funding hypotheses. Amongst others, Progyny, which manages fertility advantages for employers, went public in 2019 at a valuation in extra of $1 billion; its present market capitalization is about $4 billion. And Maven Clinic, a digital clinic for ladies’s and household well being, was valued at greater than $1 billion in a current Sequence D funding. Actually, the alternatives for a number of gamers, together with traders, researchers, suppliers, payers, and legacy pharmaceutical and medical-device firms, have gotten more and more evident.
A market of alternative
Relying on scope, estimates for FemTech’s present market dimension vary from $500 million to $1 billion. Forecasts recommend alternatives for double-digit income progress. On the digital well being entrance, FemTech firms presently obtain 3 p.c of all digital well being funding. In our scan of a whole lot of FemTech firms, we discovered focus in maternal well being affected person help, client menstrual merchandise, gynecological units, and options in fertility. Funding reached $2.5 billion by early December 2021. In some circumstances, FemTech firms are filling gaps not but addressed by biopharma and system incumbents, reminiscent of within the space of maternal well being. But that is clearly, and promisingly, solely the start of what FemTech can tackle. There are nonetheless vital white areas (Exhibit 2).
On the cusp of disruption
FemTech firms might disrupt healthcare in plenty of methods. Preliminary breakthroughs are already being achieved throughout a variety of areas, together with the next:
- Enhancing care supply: Digital clinics reminiscent of Tia, modern brick-and-mortar clinics reminiscent of Kindbody, and direct-to-consumer prescription supply companies like these of The Tablet Membership, all allow ladies to entry care in a extra handy, consumer-centric method.
- Enabling self-care: Trackers and wearables supplied by firms reminiscent of Bloomlife, and at-home diagnostics like these offered by Trendy Fertility, are among the many FemTech options which might be serving to ladies take higher cost of their well being and health-related information.
- Enhancing diagnoses: Scientific diagnostics firms are pushing the scientific frontier to deal with unmet medical wants in areas reminiscent of endometriosis (DotLab) and preterm start (Sera Prognostics).
- Addressing stigmatized areas: Firms are addressing what had been thought of to be stigmatized matters head on, reminiscent of menstrual well being (Thinx), sexual well being (Rosy Wellness), pelvic care (Elvie), and menopause (Elektra Well being).
- Delivering culturally delicate and tailor-made care: Options tailor-made for subpopulations are rising for Black ladies (reminiscent of Well being in Her HUE), LGBTQ+ populations (FOLX Well being), and ladies in low- and middle-income nations (Kasha).
The classes through which FemTech is having an influence are growing—and likewise, in some circumstances, beginning to evolve, overlap, and redefine themselves as FemTech firms start to scale up and search new methods to increase. As an example, Maven began in maternity care after which expanded throughout the reproductive life cycle. Peppy, which was based to supply an answer for organizations to higher help their folks as soon as they’d introduced their new infants house, now additionally addresses challenges round menopause. Different companies, amongst them fashions that have been launched on a direct-to-consumer mannequin, at the moment are looking for to acquire regulatory approval and reimbursement, as they construct upon their experiences and real-world information to supply improved options for a broader set of stakeholders who profit from higher ladies’s healthcare.
Trying ahead, early movers can stake out alternatives in distinguished white areas, together with by leveraging know-how to deal with ladies’s well being points past copy, and by serving to to fulfill the wants of underserved populations reminiscent of low-income or minority communities. FemTech additionally presents vital partnership alternatives for legacy gamers in conventional sectors. Cosmetics chief L’Oréal, for instance, just lately unveiled a partnership with the period-tracking app Clue to deepen information on the connection between pores and skin well being and the menstrual cycle. As FemTech firms more and more acquire traction and alter the aggressive panorama, stakeholders inside and past the healthcare ecosystem might nicely present extra momentum.
Furthermore, FemTech—and certainly, improved ladies’s healthcare total—might assist catalyze optimistic social adjustments throughout the healthcare ecosystem and past. Take into account menopause, which ceaselessly happens when ladies are most probably to step into senior roles. Its results can have an effect on the variety of ladies in high positions and the standard of ladies’s experiences all through organizations.
Deploying technological and consumer-centric options to deal with menopause can function a mannequin and an enabler for future feminine leaders.
Alongside these strains, FemTech is powered to a major extent by feminine entrepreneurs—greater than 70 p.c of FemTech firms we analyzed had at the least one feminine founder, in contrast with a 20 p.c norm for brand spanking new firms. Certainly, throughout the worth chain, a extra inclusive, gender-aware healthcare system might assist help extra ladies to turn out to be inventors, traders, physicians, founders—and more healthy human beings, fixing for the well being situations of different human beings. Analysis has proven that when inventors got down to resolve a well being drawback, male inventors usually tend to resolve for a male-oriented situation; women-led groups resolve for each.
Growing feminine illustration amongst researchers, inventors, traders, and founders can create extra consumer-centric merchandise and options that acknowledge and goal ladies’s particular healthcare wants. Certainly, the market is not only ladies shoppers but additionally payers and suppliers that search higher merchandise and instruments to interact extra successfully with ladies finish shoppers. FemTech options should not solely attaining industrial success; they’re contributing to the situations for continued innovation. As a result of ladies should not simply shoppers however the main healthcare decision-makers for themselves and infrequently for his or her households, higher well being outcomes for ladies can result in higher outcomes for society.
As ladies’s healthcare turns into an growing precedence, FemTech is rising to fulfill the problem because it matches capital and expertise with unmet wants. In a brief time frame, FemTech has already demonstrated spectacular early wins. A fair higher disruption may very well be forward.