September 22, 2023

Health Mettler Institute

Healthy LifeStyle & Education

Trends in digital health: Technology in women’s health event

Trends in digital health: Technology in women’s health event

Welcome to the Bristows “Tendencies in electronic wellness” report sequence. About the following number of weeks, we will investigate some of the scorching subject areas inside the sector starting up with our initially article, below, on 1 of the speediest growing sub-sectors: FemTech.

What is FemTech?

The phrase “FemTech” is employed to explain a subset of firms in the overall health tech field which target on women’s overall health, frequently headed by feminine CEOs. The “FemTech” phrase is not favoured by all who do the job in the sector, with some preferring “Women’s Health Technology”, but we will use the phrase in this posting for relieve of reference.

Escalating numbers of women of all ages are searching for to consider control of their overall health by using a multitude of new applications and units. From monitoring their menstrual cycle or being pregnant, screening their fertility and checking their peri-menopause indicators, to logging signs to assist in obtaining a diagnosis for an under-diagnosed ailment these as endometriosis, these apps are empowering gals by supplying increased entry to information about women’s health. Expenditure firms are commencing to consider notice according to McKinsey, $2.5 billion was invested in the sector in 2021, up from $1.4 billion in pre-pandemic moments[1].

In January 2023, Bristows held a panel party for all those doing the job in or interested in the women’s health and fitness tech sector, to discuss and take a look at the existing landscape of the market. Our panel was chaired by Xisca Borrás, Everyday living Sciences Regulatory spouse at Bristows. She was joined by panellists Helen O’Neill (Founder and CEO of Hertility), Sioned Jones (co-founder and COO of BoobyBiome) and Barbara Domayne-Hayman (Crick Institute’s Entrepreneur in home and Director of its accelerator programme for early stage get started-ups, KQ Labs).

Down below we set out three vital takeaways from the occasion:


Even though the region is quickly escalating, the accessible funding from enterprise cash and other investment firms is not but matching funding desires, with a escalating selection of applicants in this field hunting to join the KQ Labs kick-starter programme each individual year. This seems to be for a amount of causes:

  • traditional biomedical buyers can come across it challenging to delve into the world of big tech or deep equipment learning, even though on the other side of the identical coin recurring tech traders who are intrigued in the health and fitness facet are normally anxious about the added lifestyle sciences polices in this sector, with which they are unfamiliar.
  • many of the issues these businesses handle are topics which are normally even now regarded as “taboo” even with currently being applicable to more than fifty percent of the inhabitants, and this can lead to discomfort among (primarily male) investors generating the funding conclusions when discussing the organizations and their products and solutions, there had been anecdotes from the panel exactly where funders did not even want to say the names of certain organizations if they were viewed as too “explicit”.
  • providers in this space are at the moment looking at far more financial commitment than in the previous, but there is a issue that this is due to “FemTech” currently being a buzzword inside of the health tech entire world at the minute. The stress is that when the bandwagon passes and the following stylish matter comes together, the sub-sector will be forgotten or passed above in favour of other minority spots as a “tick-box” work out. However if the investments give a favourable return, the current “trend” could guide to a extensive-expression sea adjust.

As women of all ages make up much more than 50{08cd930984ace14b54ef017cfb82c397b10f0f7d5e03e6413ad93bb8e636217f} of the inhabitants, there is evidently an huge market place to tap into and if entrepreneurs and buyers take gain of this, it could direct to an uptick in VC investment. Just 1 or two women’s overall health unicorns would crack the stigma and transform attitudes, at which point we will likely see an avalanche of these sorts of corporations.


FemTech is quite reliant on having sufficient suitable data in buy to meet up with investigation and item progress aims. On the other hand, there is a lack of scientific details relating to women’s diseases and reproductive health cycles, which historically haven’t been the emphasis of healthcare and research communities. Often, the FemTech organizations them selves want to bridge this details hole.

Whilst there is at this time a diploma of public discomfort and deficiency of rely on relating to tech business obtain to NHS health and fitness data thanks to issues close to details staying sold for industrial use, the panellists noted that when smaller, female-run firms focussing on women’s health access out to women of all ages to use their data, they are frequently fulfilled with enthusiasm and positivity. In fact, they observed that most are enthusiastic to be requested and bundled in investigate that will reflect the woman practical experience and could convey about cures/therapies/medicines made with gals and their requires in head.

The following emphasis requires to be on ensuring that woman facts that is collected likely forward covers a diverse intersection of women of all ages, to make sure it enables helpful conclusions for all. (For further info on staying away from bias and raising variety in AI, see our prior report on this subject matter).

Regulatory Landscape

A major challenge for overall health tech corporations is the stringent, and normally complicated, regulatory landscape. In certain, issues with navigating medicines and health-related device rules can confirm an even a lot more substantial barrier to entry when acquiring products and solutions that concentrate on novel and traditionally disregarded places of women’s wellbeing investigation, in which the regulatory landscape can be unclear.

FemTech businesses are usually relying on wealthy health and fitness info sets, possibly received from the NHS or supplemented/collected in-dwelling. The collection, processing and use of personalized information is subject matter to information security legislation and supplied the delicate nature of the knowledge, it have to be addressed with the utmost treatment. These businesses also want a complete comprehension of how facts flows as a result of their organisations – facts subjects will also require to be provided distinct facts about how their facts is becoming utilized and whether or not it is being transferred to 3rd parties/countries.

For FemTech firms working in the B2C place, it is critical to make certain that person journeys – and the phrases that buyers indicator up to – comply with buyer safety laws, especially in relation to transparency and fairness. Consumers need to recognize what they are signing up to, what their obligations are and what to do if they no extended want to use the merchandise/company.

Although the troubles highlighted previously mentioned can make it tricky to enter the market place and sustain a existence, the panel celebration highlighted the expansion in this space. We assume to see many new entrants over the coming many years and existing marketplace players attaining new growth.