Women’s health is no longer ignored. Here are some products that improve our understanding of women’s sexual wellness and reproductive health.
The term FemTech, a portmanteau for female technology, was coined in 2012 by Ida Tin, the founder of Clue, now one of the most popular period-tracking apps in the world with more than 14 million users.
With FemTech, Tin sees a future where women can better understand their bodies and take full control of their health through the use of technology. This sector includes wearable devices, medical treatments, period-tracking software, female hygiene products and other smartphone apps that deal with women’s sexual wellness and reproductive health. The FemTech global market is a booming industry and is expected to grow over US$48.5 million by 2025.
The female body has been ignored by science for far too long, so it is reassuring to see so many emerging startups that aim to provide diagnostics and insight along all stages of a woman’s reproductive life. We have compiled a list of the five most promising FemTech companies that are solving and normalizing female health issues and paving the way for this emerging market.
Founded in 2014, Bloomlife is a remote prenatal care platform built from the combination of technology, data sciences and medical expertise. The San Francisco-based company aims to bring long overdue innovation to maternal health, as maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the United States are rising.
Bloomlife has designed the world’s first and only wearable for pregnancy that provides analytics and personalized feedback to mums-to-be and doctors so that they can better predict and manage pregnancy complications. The wearable is a lightweight patch that sticks to the pregnant belly and non-invasively records important health parameters of the mother and the baby throughout pregnancy. It collects data like fetal movement, fetal heart rate and contraction patterns and frequency.
Understanding that more than 40% of women around the world have some type of sexual dysfunction and are unable to climax during sexual encounters, the audio wellbeing app helps normalize female pleasure and sexual happiness through audio guides. The Barcelona-founded company works with sexual health experts and sex therapists to develop more than 300 audio well-being sessions and erotic stories for women. Users can also curate their own personal pleasure journey and track their progress.
Launched worldwide in early 2020, Emjoy quickly garnered more than 80 thousand registered users in its first six months of operation. It now has 150 thousand active users globally. In September 2020, Emjoy raised US$3 million in seed funding led by JME Ventures.
The Dublin-based FemTech firm has developed the world’s first breastfeeding monitor. Prior to Coroflo’s invention, the only established method of measuring breastfeeding was pre- and post-feed weighing, which takes a long time for results to show and varies wildly with little accuracy. The tiny and non-invasive nipple shield designed by Coroflo informs mothers how much milk is flowing through to the baby. By connecting the device to the smartphone app, users would be able to track how much breast milk an infant has consumed in real time and how it compares with other babies of a similar age. The cloud-based analytics can also show users how their feeds have varied over time.
Founded in Zurich in 2014, Ava specifically caters to women who are trying to get pregnant. It provides data-driven fertility support that is proven to help couples get pregnant quicker, which can reduce the need to move on to costly or invasive fertility options. Ava is a smart bracelet that is worn only during sleep; it tracks five physiological signals and can accurately predict a woman’s next fertile window and ovulation.
The FDA-registered device has helped more than 50 thousand women achieve their pregnancy goals. Moreover, nearly 30% of sub-fertile women report pregnancy within one year of using Ava.
Apricity is a virtual fertility clinic that uses artificial intelligence to improve chances for women who have difficulties in conceiving. Launched in 2016 in London, the company has devised personalized fertility treatments, such as sperm freezing, egg donation and IVF packages. Every user can be paired up with an Apricity advisor who will discuss their fertility history and health background; and, based on their needs and preferences, arrange a consultation with one of the fertility clinics the company is collaborating with.
Apricity aims to revolutionize IVF, as the old practice has often left women and couples anxious and confused by their treatment. Its fertility care mobile app offers medication reminders, tailored guidance and an overview of the user’s treatment progress. Fertility advisors are also available seven days a week to support users and answer their medical questions. Apricity’s care team doesn’t just end with fertility doctors and advisors; they also have people who perform fertility counselling, provide reflexology services and nutritional advice to users in need.
Discussion around women’s health and reproductive issues have always been shrouded by social stigma. But times have changed, and we now have FemTech startups that normalize and provide solutions to these issues, thankfully.
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