Nowadays, a lot of our needs and wants can be taken care of digitally — from entertainment to work. Our health, of course, is no different. In a previous post, we highlighted the rise of e-commerce and startups within the health and medtech sectors. Today, the healthcare and medtech startup sub-sector consists of companies offering services of online pharmacy, consultation, and diagnostics, with the aim to make life expectancy better and boost accessibility to healthcare. These companies include subscription-based services that deliver vitamins or medication to customers, as well as booking lab tests and appointments with healthcare providers.
Another sub-sector within this is the femtech sector. According to data from Fortune Business Insights, the global femtech market is expected to grow to $20.59 billion by 2030. The market report defines femtech as technology products related to females, delivering healthtech solutions to cater to the need for women’s health issues and disorders. As funding and investments continue to rise, an increasing number of startups with innovative femtech solutions are expected to continue this market growth.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of these novel healthtech startups that are impacting women’s health for the better:
Sequence – PCOS treatment
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 6% to 12% of US women — approximately five million women between the ages of 20 and 60. PCOS affects fertility, causes acne, impacts periods, and can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight. A study found that between 40% and 80% of women with PCOS are reported to be overweight or obese.
It’s important to note that the weight aspects of PCOS aren’t merely cosmetic. PCOS and obesity can exacerbate one another. While PCOS can lead to weight gain and obesity, obesity can also worsen reproductive abnormalities. Sequence, a prescription weight health program, allows women to get prescribed PCOS medication for weight loss and book virtual consultations with board-certified clinicians. This allows for ongoing support and holistic care as the program includes an insurance coordinator, a nutrition and fitness plan, and clinician check-ins.
Ava – Fertility tracking
Fertility tracking is crucial for women for many reasons. Tracking menstrual cycles can not only alert women to potential fertility problems but also show indications of overall health. It can also be much less stressful to know where you stand with your fertility, alleviating mental pressures from daily life.
Combining AI and clinical science, Ava is an FDA-approved fertility platform to help women conceive faster. In 2022, the company was acquired by FemTec Health as part of its commitment to providing comprehensive support for women’s reproductive health. Backed by rigorous clinical trials, Ava has helped over 70,000 women get pregnant through its cycle-tracking technology and machine learning algorithms. Ava also has other potential applications in family planning, sleep and fitness, prescription medications, and stages of a woman’s life beyond reproduction.
Axena – Pelvic health
Last but not the least is pelvic health. Today, fecal incontinence affects up to one in four women at some point in their lives. These women may experience occasional or chronic stool leakage as a result of not being able to control bowel movements. As this may be a sensitive or uncomfortable subject for most, the use of med- and femtech for pelvic health can be beneficial.
Axena Health, which makes a women’s health digital therapeutic, aims to treat urinary incontinence and chronic fecal incontinence in women. The system is FDA-approved and includes a vaginal motion sensor that connects to an app, guiding users through pelvic floor muscle training. This can help women ease the burden of incontinence at home and on their own schedule, allowing them to engage in their daily activities and necessities.