It’s solving for everything from menopause to endometriosis pain to combating too-high rates of maternal mortality among Black women

Early in 2020, the GWS named the “fertility boom” a top trend in health and wellness, detailing how fertility solutions were becoming a formidable femtech sector, with a new generation of start-ups using digital platforms, wearables, apps and modernized clinics to help women take charge of their reproductive health. Fertility solutions have certainly dominated in femtech’s first wave, grabbing 65% of the category’s recent investment money.

In 2020, a major trend has been femtech—which means all female-focused start-ups designed to support women’s health­—expanding in so many new directions. If women’s health too often gets narrowly equated with reproduction, now many more companies are focused on solving for the universe of women’s health issues: menopause; endometriosis, a painful disorder of the womb lining affecting one in 10 women; underserved communities, including pregnancy solutions for Black and low-income women; and women’s mental health. And because women’s health more generally has been so understudied and underserved, we see more heart health, pain management, diabetes, weight management and chronic disease control solutions now being squarely designed for women’s unique bodies and needs.

There is action (and a flow of investment money) happening in many categories. Just a few:

Menopause and perimenopause issues have been grotesquely taboo, but that’s changing fast. Gennev, the first online clinic for women in menopause, recently launched HealthFix, giving virtual access to health coaches and OB-GYNs. CurieMD offers women menopause diagnosis and personalized treatment via telehealth. A new sensor-packed wearable device, Grace, detects the onset of hot flashes and applies automatic cooling to a woman’s wrist.

Underserved populations: The CDC found that US Black women are up to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to white women. Digital health solutions are rushing to close the prenatal and postnatal care gap, including CandlelitCulture Care and Health In Her Hue. Poppy Seed Health connects minority and low-income pregnant and postpartum women to doulas, midwives and nurses, and provides a desperately needed telehealth solution to women on Medicaid.
Endometriosis and period pain: Imagine if men suffered such agonies? Renalis is developing digital platforms to tackle fibroids/endometriosis. Israeli start-up Gynica is using what it argues is a clinically-proven, cannabinoid-based solution for endometriosis. Visana Health invented a 12-week digital program to reduce chronic menstrual pain with diet changes, pelvic floor physical therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
An excellent new report from Rock Health paints the current landscape of startups and investment: from companies that provide sexual education for young women to those that treat female reproductive cancers to those that integrate mental wellness into whole-woman care.
The word “femtech” didn’t even exist five years ago. Now, according to Frost & Sullivan, investment will reach $9 billion by 2024. That’s still a pretty paltry amount, as women spend an estimated $500 billion annually on medical expenses, and only 4% of healthcare R&D is targeted at women’s health issues. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg with new technologies and platforms that can transform the health of so many more women and girls.
Non-tech-focused wellness businesses would do well to “think like a femtech company” and create new programs, solutions and treatments that tackle women’s physical and mental health pain-points…honestly and directly.

This is inspired by the “The Fertility Boom” trend in the 2020 Global Wellness Trends Report.

Summit Trend in the News

Femtech poised for growth beyond fertilityTechCrunch

A recent report from analysts at Pitchbook argues that femtech is moving well beyond fertility and reproductive health, with some big market opportunities  This looks at where the VC is at and where it’s going…
Femtech market has unmet segments despite industry growth, report saysMobiHealthNews

A new report from Rock Health reveals that the majority of all femtech funding has gone to fertility, pregnancy and motherhood, but “women are so much more than their reproductive organs.”

The innovative new world of women’s healthcareWorth

Executives and investors talk about how the pandemic has been powering the women’s femtech space forward. Features the CEO of Poppy Seed Health, president of Nuvo Group America, managing director of Rhia Ventures, and advisor at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management on where they think femtech is headed.
Investors are taking bets on femtech, now looking beyond just fertility apps-MobiHealthNews

While capital for femtech companies continues to pour in, investors at the Women of Wearables’ femtech forum discussed the importance of companies that are solving for sexual wellbeing and the “pleasure gap,” natural versus hormonal contraception, and menopause. 
How Gen Zers are confronting feminine health and sexual wellnessGlossy

Explores how Gen Z, the older group of which has entered puberty, menstruation and a coming into sexuality, holds a wildly different set of views and values compared to their millennial counterparts on female sexual health and sexuality. 

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Share Share
Copyright © 2020 Global Wellness Summit, All rights reserved.