Kate Batz is Director of FemTech Analytics, Managing Partner at Longevity Capital as well as Director of Strategy and Business Development at Deep Knowledge Ventures, Aging Analytics Agency and Deep Knowledge Analytics.
There are few health sub-sectors that specifically meet the needs of women. Today, only 4 percent of life science investments are focused on health technology solutions for women. However, the rapidly changing femtech industry is coming to the rescue.
TO FemTech Analytics, a strategic analysis agency focused on the emerging femtech sector and a subsidiary of the UK consortium Deep Knowledge Group, we view femtech as software, diagnostics, products and services that use technology to focus on the health and well-being of women. Femtech encompasses several sub-sectors such as women’s wellness, menstrual health, reproductive health and contraception, longevity, pregnancy and breastfeeding, general health care, mental health and healthcare. pelvic and uterine.
These sub-sectors are being developed through a wide range of technological innovations, including technology platforms such as applications and telehealth, deepTtch such as AI and big data, as well as devices such as wearable devices, sensors and remote monitoring of patients. Globally, pregnancy, breastfeeding and reproductive health account for approximately 50 percent of the global femtech market.
The femtech industry emerged almost 10 years ago. However, a wide range of aspects of women’s health remain underserved. While reproductive health and nursing have traditionally been at the center of femtech business and investment, several other sub-sectors are gradually coming to the fore.
While femtech still focuses primarily on traditional technology sub-sectors related to women’s health, the industry is expanding to encompass other sub-sectors such as mental health and longevity, which is another emerging field focused on healthy aging, including technologies and software to improve women’s health. and lifespan. The longevity industry presents solutions for the detection, monitoring and treatment of chronic diseases as well as biometric and lifestyle solutions. By developing and advancing health, longevity and mental health solutions, femtech seeks to address some of the most unmet health needs of women.
Now more than ever, technologies aimed at improving the mental and emotional aspects of women’s lives are essential. These solutions help women overcome stress, empathize, make the right choices, and empower others.
In 2021, we conducted a number of case studies of the global femtech industry, profiling companies, investors and government agencies based on their innovation potential and activity. commercial. Several countries have advanced their femtech programs in line with their women’s empowerment policies. According to our global FemTech Industry report 2021, the United States is the world leader in femtech, while the United Kingdom and Israel have the highest number of femtech companies in their respective regions. The undisputed leader in Asia is India, which represents 5% of femtech companies.
Looking at the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, our recent report titled ‘FemTech Industry in the UAE ‘showed that Mena’s share of the total number of femtech companies barely reached 6%. On a more granular level, the report presents the current status, recent developments, trends, industry innovations, technologies, market size, and short term projections of the emerging femtech market in the region.
A third of Mena’s femtech companies are based in the United Arab Emirates, where innovation, women’s empowerment and gender equality are national priorities. About 60% of UAE-based femtech tech companies are concerned with women’s wellness and menstrual health, however, companies focused on sexual health and menopause care are virtually non-existent.
The The UAE’s National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women and its Gender Council strive to adopt policies that support women at different levels. The country continues to prioritize women’s health by accelerating the growth of femtech. The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (“SEHA”), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, recently upgraded its Corniche Hospital to improve the patient experience and streamline the continuum of care. In doing so, the country demonstrates a high caliber of governance, setting an example regionally and globally.
The nation has become a global power in education, business and community for women, accelerating equality, diversity and inclusion in the public and private sectors. There is a steady growth in the representation of women in the UAE government and in all industries in the country. This socio-economic transformation creates a solid foundation for femtech. The potential to further propel the development of femtech lies in the identification of other underserved femtech sub-sectors.
Additionally, the UAE is well positioned to achieve exponential growth within the femtech industry, given the range of startups providing feminine hygiene products and educational tools such as Pectiv, Orgabliss, MyLily and LiZZOM, and several more are expected to emerge over the next few years. Some of the main findings of our report are not surprising – for example, e-commerce platforms focused on women’s health care are a key driver of the UAE’s femtech sector.
However, most investors in the Mena region are men, and the lack of understanding of women’s health needs makes them reluctant to invest in products aimed at women. Additionally, most femtech startups in the UAE are founded and led by women, who tend to receive less funding than their male-led counterparts. Despite growing interest from governments, entrepreneurs and investors in recent years, the industry remains underestimated and teeming with potential.