Meta Description: Women-led healthcare startups offer huge growth and potential for the medical industry. Find out how FemTech is changing the world for the better.
Female-Led Healthcare Startups Lead the Way in Medical Inventions
Although women have always played vital roles in healthcare, the healthcare industry has historically been male dominated. Up until recently, women typically occupied positions as nurses and caregivers, while men had more opportunities for positions of leadership in the medical field. However, this is changing fast. There are now more women in medicine than ever before, many of whom are making significant strides in technology and innovation.
Why We Need More Female Leaders in Healthcare
With men at the helm in the medical field for so long, women’s health issues have traditionally been neglected. There are many reasons for this including a lack of interest in conditions that disproportionately affect women, discomfort talking about female sexual issues, and male doctors dismissing or downplaying female patient’s claims.
Women face unique health challenges, yet research in female health has been significantly lacking. In fact, it was only in 1993 that the National Institutes of Health enacted a law stating that women and minorities must be included as subjects in clinical research trials. Clearly there is a need for gender parity in the medical industry to help close this gap. The good news is women are making progress in healthcare.
According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the percentage of women in the physician workforce rose from 28.3% in 2007 to 36.3% in 2019. In addition, 2019 was the first year that the majority of medical students in the United States were women with 50.3% female students compared to 49.7% male students. As more women enter the medical field, FemTech ventures are proliferating.
What is Femtech?
The term FemTech was coined in 2016 by Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin, who created a period and fertility tracking app called Clue. It refers to technology that focuses on women’s healthcare. This includes tools, products and services that focus on female-specific health conditions such as fertility, maternity, menstruation, menopause and female sexual health.
FemTech startups are quickly gaining traction. A report by Pitchbook stated that funding for FemTech products and ventures was $1.9 billion in 2021 compared to just $600 million in 2015. The proliferation of FemTech products and services is raising awareness about women’s healthcare and fueling growth and innovation in the medical industry.
FemTech Innovation Breakthroughs That Are Changing the World
Female inventions that focus on women’s healthcare range from apps and wearable devices that track menstruation to companies that offer fertility benefits to employers. These are just a few FemTech inventions by women that are making a difference:
- Clue. Clue was the first menstrual health app to hit the market back in 2013. It predicts menstruation, the fertile window and even PMS and allows users to track categories such as emotions, intercourse, pain and energy.
- Maven Clinic. Founded by Kate Ryder in 2014, Maven Clinic is a virtual healthcare clinic that focuses on women’s and family healthcare. Women can log in to receive comprehensive care for fertility, pregnancy and parenting.
- Bonzun IVF. Bonzun is the world’s first IVF app. It guides women through the IVF journey and gives them the tools and support they need to increase their chances of success.
- Coroflo. New mothers can ensure their newborns are getting enough nutrients with Coroflo, a unique breastfeeding monitor that tells you how much milk is flowing through. The nipple shield also helps protect sore nipples.
- Thinx. Thinx creates reusable period underwear that can be used instead of menstrual products or in addition to them. Some of the proceeds of their sales go towards making female hygiene products accessible to all.
- DotEndo. Women’s healthcare technology company DotLab created DotEndo, a non-invasive blood test that can quickly identify active endometriosis. While a traditional diagnosis of endometriosis can take up to 11 years, DotEndo can deliver results in just 10 days.
- Elektra Health. Elektra Health aims to remove the taboo surrounding menopause by offering women access to board-certified menopause doctors and a supportive community. Women can join the platform to receive online education and care.
- Health in Her HUE. Founded by Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright, Health in Her HUE is an online platform that helps Black women and women of color connect with healthcare providers. The platform empowers women to delve into healthcare issues that disproportionately affect them.
- Stix. Buying female healthcare products doesn’t have to be embarrassing or stressful. Stix is an online shop that sells everything from pregnancy tests to yeast infection treatments and delivers it right to your door. They also have a blog that covers a wide range of women’s healthcare topics.
- iSono Health. iSono Health created the AUTUSA scanner, the world’s first portable, hands-free breast ultrasound scannerI. Physicians can quickly scan the entire breast with no need for an ultrasound operator. 3D visualization results are returned in just 2 minutes.
The Future of Female Leaders in Healthcare Innovation
Women’s health startups are disrupting the medical industry in a big way by leveraging technology to empower women to make better health choices. FemTech is predicted to have a market potential of $50 billion by 2025, which means there are endless opportunities for women who are interested in making a difference in the female healthcare sphere.
The growth of FemTech has many benefits including better diagnoses for women’s health conditions, enhanced self-care, better care delivery, and removing the stigmas attached to particular topics. It also encourages women to enter the medical and technology fields, provides opportunities for female entrepreneurs and creates space for women to step into senior roles.
Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Medicine
FemTech takes the previously male-dominated and male-centric healthcare system and flips it on its head by addressing women’s specific health needs and placing women at the forefront of research, technology and care. This creates a more inclusive medical environment where women are not only represented, but empowered to be the core decision makers when it comes to their health and well-being.