As the growing focus on women’s healthcare expands, so does femtech and the prevalence of tools and solutions to support women’s healthcare. Femtech encompasses diagnostics, products, wearable technology, services, and software designed to address women’s healthcare. A growing sector of newly emerging start-up companies are launching most femtech technology, devices, and approaches. Femtech encompasses a growing range of technology-enabled, consumer-centric products and solutions and is filling gaps that heavyweights in the healthcare and pharmaceutical markets have not yet addressed.
The femtech market will more than double in the coming years from $5.2 billion in 2021 to $13.3 billion by 2030. What’s contributing to this rapid expansion? Increased adoption of telemedicine, technology advances, social movements, and recognition of a woman’s experience as a patient. Femtech is transforming women’s healthcare and helping millions of women around the world access care designed for their needs.
Women’s healthcare includes all healthcare provided to women. This sphere encompasses reproductive health, sexual health, menstrual health, maternal health, and menopause care. Women’s healthcare is not limited to these services – it also includes general health conditions that affect more women than men, like osteoporosis. In addition, there is a growing demand for healthcare for chronic disease and preventive care, among other focuses tailored specifically toward women. Advances in women’s healthcare lead to better health outcomes for women patients, consumers, and the broader population. The significant growth and expansion of femtech signals promising advances in women’s healthcare and increasing opportunities to address the unmet health needs of women.
Why is femtech important?
Femtech is transforming women’s healthcare, and its impact is widely recognized. Advances in femtech offer products and services to women that were historically unavailable or inaccessible. The market’s expansion is accelerating, as indicated by increased public awareness, consumer engagement, company launches, and active investments. These advances in technology and care delivery enable broader access to care, better patient experience, and ultimately better outcomes for women patients and consumers.
Improves the delivery of care
Women can better access patient-centered, consumer-friendly healthcare through virtual clinics, direct-to-consumer prescription services, and innovative clinics designed with a woman patient in mind. More choices are available to meet women’s preferences.
Advances in wearable devices, at-home testing and diagnostics, and healthcare trackers support women’s healthcare goals, allow women to take charge of their health, and access and share health-related data.
Companies and technologies tailored to women’s healthcare address gaps in healthcare diagnostics like endometriosis and pregnancy complications. Solutions specifically designed for women are increasing the ability to diagnose women’s healthcare conditions earlier and more accurately.
Addresses stigmatized topics
Companies targeting issues like menopause, menstrual health, and infertility are making it easier for women to access information, care, and support on issues that may have previously carried a stigma.
Delivers sensitive and tailored care
Women are not all the same – femtech companies are designing culturally competent care, services, and devices for specific populations of women, including Black women, women of color, LGBTQ populations, and women in varying socioeconomic settings.
Better suited to understanding the needs of women
Frequently, women are leading these femtech companies, providing a perspective and designing a user experience with a deeper understanding of a woman’s experience, challenges, and needs.
Reduces the issue of gender inequality in tech
The expansion of femtech in healthcare also provides many female scientists, technology experts, and healthcare providers with more meaningful employment opportunities. More than 70% of femtech companies have at least one female founder. Increasing female representation among founders, researchers, and investors can continue to create more solutions that address women’s specific healthcare needs.
The impact of femtech on women’s health
Many femtech solutions focus on supporting women in their personal healthcare goals. Sexual health apps and femtech reproductive health devices help women to track fertility and monitor their menstrual cycle. Online clinics allow women to access mental health care, find providers skilled in women’s health, or seek prescriptions for birth control. At-home diagnostic kits allow women to learn more about their reproductive health.
With femtech, women have more choices in how they seek, access, and receive care. This capability allows women to have more autonomy and privacy.
Accessibility for all women
Femtech solutions tailored to specific populations not only offer culturally competent care but aims to address historical inequities in health outcomes.
As women navigate the healthcare system, their concerns are not taken as seriously as men’s. Women are more likely to feel that a healthcare provider ignores or dismisses their symptoms, and this can lead to choices to forgo healthcare altogether.
Frequently, women’s healthcare is viewed through the lens of gynecological and reproductive health. This narrow perspective contributes to poorer outcomes for women. The healthcare system was historically designed with the experiences of a typical male patient in mind. The evolution toward a more inclusive, patient-centered system enables women to find and access care that meets their needs. Femtech solutions and approaches have made significant advances in healthcare experience and outcomes for women and have made healthcare more available.
The value of femtech
The opportunities unlocked by femtech continue to unfold. Initial findings show that women are engaging with femtech solutions at high rates, and the market will only continue to grow. Women are 75% to 85% more likely than men to use digital tools for healthcare needs. Major subsectors with significant engagement include fertility solutions (on track to reach $41 billion in sales by 2026), menstrual care, breastfeeding devices, prenatal devices, and sexual health. With more than 3,000 app-based products currently focused on women’s healthcare, the market will continue to grow exponentially.
Women are the decision-makers in their healthcare choices and those of their families and loved ones. Eighty percent of women are responsible for healthcare decisions in their households. Women’s healthcare and femtech is not a niche market, as women drive the consumer market for healthcare. Femtech will only continue to grow and address the full spectrum of women’s health needs. The global femtech market was more than $5.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $13.3 billion by 2030. The growing recognition of the power of women as healthcare consumers and purchasers is supporting the growth potential and the demand for women-specific care and solutions. Additionally, the market is not just limited to patients and consumers. Health insurance plans, government payers like Medicare and Medicaid, and providers are all seeking better products and tools to engage effectively with women as patients and consumers.
Femtech is driving the future of women’s healthcare
Advances in technology are growing exponentially, and digital health solutions are central to supporting patient-centered care. Providers and care teams focused on delivering patient-centered care are widely adopting strategies to leverage these technologies in their care models and workflows.
Femtech centers on women’s healthcare experience and designs services, devices, and healthcare support tailored to a woman’s unique needs. By creating care models and technology solutions designed for and aimed to reach more women, femtech has the power to change the lives of millions of women worldwide. Since women are not solely consumers but also primary healthcare decision-makers for themselves and their loved ones, better health outcomes for women can contribute to better population health outcomes as well.
Care management solutions like Welkin Health offer a technological backbone for femtech providers and care teams who want to increase patient engagement, satisfaction, and health outcomes. Welkin’s patient-centered care approach helps providers provide personalized care for their patients. Learn more about how Welkin can help support your mission in walking with women through every step of their health journey.