FEMTECH

For years, women’s health was considered a subset industry within healthcare, but this is now shifting. Coined ‘the Femtech industry’ by Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin in 2016, Femtech is growing rapidly and showing promising results in improving health outcomes for women, attracting venture investments, generating company formations and catalysing positive social change.

FemTech

Although, women represent half of the global population and make 80 percent of all health-related purchases, women’s health issues have historically been underrepresented and underserved, leading to disparities in care and outcomes. Femtech seeks to rectify this imbalance. Femtech refers to the development of new diagnostic tools, treatments, preventive solutions and monitoring technologies for female-specific conditions such as maternal health, menstrual health, pelvic & sexual health, fertility and menopause. Femtech also refers to general health conditions affecting women differently or disproportionately than men. These include conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, women’s cancer and autoimmune diseases. Femtech is applying a number of new advances in AI, bioconvergence, genomics, tissue engineering and cell therapy to redefine female conditions and solutions. Initial breakthroughs have been made in improving care delivery (e.g. virtual clinics), enabling self-care (e.g. trackers and wearables), diagnostics, addressing stigmatized areas (ex. sexual health, menstrual health, menopause) and delivery of culturally sensitive care (e.g. LGBTQ issues).

Why is this interesting?

In addition to improving women’s health and lowering health expenses, Femtech has the potential to establish a more inclusive, gender-aware healthcare system and foster important social changes. Solutions, such as menopausal technologies addressing some of the menopausal symptoms, could enable an increased number of female leaders. Primarily powered by female entrepreneurs, Femtech is also sparking a thriving landscape of female entrepreneurs drawing awareness to the barriers facing female entrepreneurship. Over 70 percent of Femtech companies have female founders, compared to 20 percent in other industries.

Numerous innovative Femtech companies are emerging throughout the world demonstrating early wins as the global start-up Femtech scene begins to scale up and expand. The estimated Femtech market size is unclear and varies according to scope, but is generally set at approx. USD 1 billion and forecasted to grow to double digits by 2030. Although Femtech solutions still only receive 6 percentage of healthtech investments, funding into Femtech surges in 2021 from USD 750 million to USD 2.5 billion and the industry has already produced the first unicorns such as Progyny and Maven Clinic. In recent years, we see the establishment of Femtech funds such as Rhia VC, Astia Vc and Avestria as well as established VCs such as GE Health Ventures, Pontifax and Y Combinators making Femtech investments. In Denmark, BioInnovation Institute has selected Femtech as a new interesting trend for potential growth. Corporates from traditional sectors are entering the sector and partnering with start-up companies in new areas. One example is L’Oreal examining the relation between skin health and menstrual cycle. Research in women’s health is still lacking behind and women remain extremely underrepresented in clinical trials. However, institutions such as NIH, Mayo Clinic and Copenhagen University are increasing investments and proactive collection of data from Femtech trackers, wearables and other digital solutions will assist in closing the gap.

How Far Are we?

In Israel, the government is taking a leading role in advancing Femtech as a growth engine. The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) established a Femtech Innovation Lab in 2020 to support Femtech start-ups in Israel. The lab provides funding, mentorship, and other resources to selected start-ups. In parallel, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has launched a USD 28 million program to promote the development of women-led start-ups, including Femtech companies.

With an impressive count of over 130 companies and USD 160 million funding raised in 2021, Israel has emerged as a global leader in the development of Femtech products. Examples of Israeli companies making waves are Niramai Health Analytix that has developed an AI-powered breast cancer screening solution using thermal imaging to detect abnormalities in breast tissue, while DayTwo has developed a gut microbiome analysis platform providing personalized dietary recommendations for women with conditions such as gestational diabetes and PCOS. Sweetch has developed a wearable device that uses machine learning to predict the onset of menopause based on various physiological markers, while Moodfit has developed an app tracking the mood and emotions of women and provides tips for improving mental health.

As the great potential of Femtech innovation is emerging, investors in Israel are now following suit and venture funds such as Yozma, eHealth Ventures and aMoon are turning their focus to Femtech. The new industry is expected to grow considerably in Israel and globally in the coming years, with golden opportunities for value creation for women, healthcare and society.

In academia Sheba hospital, the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East, has established the world’s first Women’s Health Innovation Centre for fostering research and innovation breakthroughs and other Israeli hospitals and universities have established centres of excellence in women’s health research.

Let’s connect

If you have any questions or thoughts about Femtech or would like to explore collaborations with the Israeli Femtech scene, please reach out to Louise Thomsen at ICDK Tel Aviv loutho@um.dk

Global Tech Trends conference on 12.SEPTEMBER

Innovation Centre Denmark launched our Global Tech Trends platform in collaboration with TechSavvy.media, which gathers 12 unique descriptions of technological trends from all over the world. You can learn more from the people behind the reports at our Global Tech Trends conference on September 12th.

WHEN

12TH OF SEPTEMBER, 11:30 AM - 5.30 PM

WHERE

STRANDGADE 25D, 1401 KØBENHAVN

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