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by GK Strategy 30th May, 2019

FemTech – a journey for women’s healthcare

Solutions for both women’s healthcare and technology innovation have been charged with lacking in progress – menstrual health, breast screening, sexual health tests and contraceptive methods have largely remained stagnant in development and innovation in the healthcare spaces. Yet, over the last five years, investment in FemTech companies has skyrocketed, whilst smart FemTech solutions are beginning a fruitful journey of NHS employment. Is FemTech the new solution to change women’s health?

A new deal for women

A phrase coined back in 2016, with inspiration from early menstrual cycle apps, FemTech’s growth is accelerating. According to data in 2018, private investment in FemTech space exceeded $400 million in and expected to reach $50bn by 2025.

FemTech is clearly no longer a ‘niche’, carving out a large space in the future of both technology and healthcare.

Trends

According to research by GK’s sister agency, onefourzero, consumer trends echo an overall growth in the space as demand increases for branded individual apps and services. Previously, search demand reflected generalised searches for women-specific technology; ‘menstrual cycle app’ or ‘fertility tracker’. Yet, the trend has shifted dramatically; big players are beginning to shape the market and brand awareness is becoming significantly more influential in the decision-making process – women launching the beginning links between health, technology providers and their bodies.

NHS and FemTech

The NHS is employing tech in exciting healthcare spaces. Last year, the NHS combined with London-based FemTech company Elvie, providing free Kegel training devices in order to treat stress urinary incontinence, affecting one in three women. According to Elvie, the alliance saved the NHS up to £424 per patient in treatment costs.

What could the future hold for the NHS and by tech innovation?

A common NHS practice, breast screening, has widely been considered an invasive and difficult procedure for women. In response, exciting devices are being devised – for example, a 3D ultrasound and Artificial Intelligence scanner. In the fertility space, one third of women have used fertility apps and Dadi and Extend Fertility offer ‘at-home male fertility kits’ and egg freezing services, potentially transforming the operation of fertility clinics.

A mixture of NHS cuts to IVF funding and the revolution in fertility options, the success of the Elvie-NHS partnership, consumer trends and investment is creating a new journey for the direction of women’s and fertility healthcare.

Though we may only be at the start of the journey, FemTech could have a potentially winning relationship with the NHS through the years to come.

 

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