Despite making up half the global population, women’s healthcare remains underfunded and overlooked. Women of childbearing age were excluded from participating in early clinical trials, per the US Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation, which was only repealed in 1993. While its reversal was critical and a necessary step in advancing healthcare, it left significant gaps in the understanding of women’s health issues and limited information surrounding the human body. Fast forward to today. We are in the face of the FemTech revolution, and institutions are progressing toward a more inclusive and gender-aware healthcare system. However, world views on FemTech do not come without flaws, and we must band together to break down barriers and invest in new methodologies to improve patients’ lives everywhere.
Suppose half of the world is suffering from certain conditions. In that case, it is imperative to do all we can to discover the underlying issues to better understand how human bodies react and adapt to ailments and treatments. Sadly, this has not been the experience for women in healthcare. Although accounting for 80% of consumer purchasing decisions, women’s health is still considered a niche market – which is far from the case. Women’s health includes far more than maternal or reproductive care and presents various opportunities for value creation and positive societal effects. The best, and, debatably, the only way to truly evolve healthcare and demonstrate the benefits of a Femtech future is to procure individuals and businesses to invest in its refinement.
Investing in Femtech addresses long-standing gender disparities across healthcare systems and provides tailored solutions in terms of medicine, treatments, and medical devices that cater to the unique needs of women. Especially because women can give birth and maintain the population, commissioning extensive research and development surrounding maternity and birth can improve pregnancy outcomes, reduce maternal or infant mortality, and manage chronic conditions. It also empowers women in all aspects of life, enabling them to take charge of their lives and drive innovation in fertility, menstrual health, and menopause management. Even though these factors affect the global population, female conditions outside of oncology comprise less than 2% of the current healthcare pipeline. Not only is this detrimental to women’s autonomy and empowerment, but it can also significantly detract from the complexities of the human body and how to treat afflictions across genders best.
The time for change is long overdue. The Femtech landscape is evolving and gaining momentum as global leaders recognize that the best way to advance the well-being of communities is to invest in women’s health. With increased funding comes improved organizations catering to women’s diverse and intricate needs everywhere. However, we still have quite a ways to go before bridging the gender and healthcare equality gap. Leaders must transform the narrative and perception of women’s health investments by demonstrating to the public how addressing healthcare disparities is advantageous for everyone. Investing in the FemTech revolution will ultimately enhance public health outcomes by offering new approaches to managing chronic conditions, promoting sexual health, and facilitating more resilient communities worldwide. Now is the time for leaders to embrace the transforming Femtech landscape and contribute to positive change for all.