Words by Dr. Ryan Grech and Dr. Dylan Attard, Clinical & Health Tech Advisors for MedTech World and two of the co-founders of Digital Health Malta.
The Femtech market is on the up. By Femtech, we refer to women’s health technology which initially started as solutions primarily focusing on helping with fertility and pregnancy. As more female founders worked within this sector, they revolutionised this space, expanding the term to encompass anything that relates to women’s health. Today we have solutions targeting maternal care, pregnancy, sexual wellbeing, menopause and pelvic health amongst others.
We expect this area to grow exponentially in the next 3 years and we made it a point to include it in our agenda within this year’s Med-tech Summit. We believe that products within this sphere can have a positive effect and we are also seeing several women trailblazing and innovating in the sector. It will see to the improvement of millions of women’s lives which translates into improvement within their communities.
The global Femtech market is expected to be worth around $60 billion by the year 2027. In case you didn’t realise, that is a lot. The culture is shifting and the industry has become more accepting of female-oriented solutions. Despite this, there is still a big room for improvement particularly in who’s leading these companies. The segment is still somewhat male-dominated and female entrepreneurs find it more difficult to raise capital. Whilst expertise in woman’s health is a must be it coming from male or female scientists we believe that user experience should be dictated or rather, heavily influenced by individuals who have experienced the issues they are trying to solve, and as such in this case female presence within a company’s leadership is even more essential. Ultimately, we want a market that is female-led and female-focused.
Some start-ups have caught our attention and we’ve decided to list 3 which we think will go a long way in enabling the industry and empowering women.
Bonnie Roupé, the co-founder, developed preeclampsia when she was pregnant with her second child. Like many, she did not understand the symptoms but was eager to know more which is why she went on to develop an app that informs pregnant women of potential health problems they could experience during her pregnancy.
The company was founded in 2012 and is essentially a virtual midwife, supplying users with information about the pregnancy journey and what changes in the body mean during pregnancy.
The Zurich-based company developed the Ava tracker for women which is the first and only FDA-cleared wearable device clinically proven to identify both the opening and closing of the fertile window and letting you know your five best days to try for a baby. For a lot of couples who are trying for a baby and get anxious just thinking about the physiology, this is a lifesaver. It measures several parameters including skin temperature, resting pulse rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, bioimpedance, heat loss, and sleep amongst others.
We’ve all seen people training their pelvic floor on TV sometimes as part of comedy but pelvic floor dysfunction is one of the most overlooked female health issues. Whilst it may not be deadly it can have a significant impact on the quality of life and can restrict patients from their normal routine. It can lead to urinary and faecal incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor exercises can strengthen pelvic muscle and if not prevent at least ease symptoms. Elvie is leading the segment. Founded in 2013 the company developed a Kegel trainer that uses biofeedback technology to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles via fun, five-minute workouts.
Femtech products can be exceptional and have a huge impact on various aspects of quality of life. We want to encourage the area to develop further and through the Med-Tech Summit we want to offer a platform for those who have had success or are aspiring to do so to showcase their innovations in the sphere.
The Med-Tech World conference, which follows a successful digital event in 2020, will run from 18th-19th November 2021 and will highlight innovations and developments in digital health across the globe. With so many countries realising the potential for exponential growth, Med-Tech World will address the opportunities and challenges driving this multi-million forum – embracing the potential for technological innovation to change the face of medicine in this global sector. Register your interest here!