FemTech, short for Female Technology, encompasses a range of innovative digital solutions which are conventionally associated with the reproductive health of cisgender women. It's a rapidly growing industry - not constricted by demand, but instead by funding and the continued battle for health equity - that recognises the importance of addressing unique biological challenges, from reproductive health to menstrual well-being and beyond.
With FemTech as a vehicle for driving change, we're witnessing a powerful shift that puts women in control of their own bodies and empowers them to make informed, autonomous decisions about their health. It's more than just a trend; it's a movement, and it’s transforming the way women experience healthcare and wellness.
At ASquared, we use technology to create meaningful and impactful digital experiences that are purpose-driven and help to make the world a better place, so we’ve pulled together our thoughts and recommendations about how this worthwhile industry can gain even more momentum through user-centricity. We're here to shed some light on the way that design-led digital experiences are revolutionising female health and empowering individuals on their unique journeys along the way.
Across the health sector, less than 4% of R&D funding goes towards female health (Pitchbook, 2020). For example, there is five times more research into erectile dysfunction which affects 20% of men, compared to premenstrual syndrome which affects around 90% of women.
Additionally, women are more negatively impacted by many common conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimers, abdominal pain and anxiety, largely because the conditions in women present differently than in men, and wait times in A&E are longer for women. Women were excluded from clinical trials until 1993, so is it any wonder they also have 50-75% more side effects from drugs (NCBI, 2019)?
FemTech supports a wide range of health challenges faced by women, including reproductive health, menstrual cycle tracking, fertility management, pregnancy care, postpartum support, menopause, sexual wellness, mental health, and overall well-being.
User-centric design lies at the core of FemTech's success. By putting women's experiences, preferences, and concerns at the forefront, we can create digital solutions that truly resonate with their needs. This means going beyond the one-size-fits-all approach and considering the diverse range of backgrounds, ages, and cultures of women. Whether it's designing an intuitive user interface, incorporating personalisation features, or offering educational resources, user-centric design ensures that the digital experience is empowering, engaging, and genuinely useful.
We believe in designing products and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, sensitive and attuned to the unique challenges women face. Our user-centric approach allows us to gather insights, conduct user research, create targeted user profiles, map user journeys, and iterate prototypes whilst actively involving these users in the design and development process. By listening to their stories, concerns, and aspirations, we can create digital solutions that truly make a positive and meaningful impact on their health and well-being.
Mobile and web apps in the FemTech infrastructure provide accessible and personalised solutions for accessing female health information. These platforms can offer individualised experiences for tracking complex data like menstrual cycles and fertility journeys, as well as symptoms, nutrition and so much more. With just a few taps or clicks, women can access tailored insights, educational resources and approved medical content, as well as receive relevant recommendations and even telehealth features through connecting with healthcare professionals.
Given that the average wait for an endometriosis diagnosis is nine years globally (NCBI, 2022), and there are currently 13 million perimenopausal or postmenopausal women in the UK alone (Menopause Support, 2021), health autonomy is more important than ever. These digital tools empower women to take control of their health, make informed decisions, and access expert guidance conveniently from their smartphones or computers.
A seamless and intuitive user experience is key to building trust and engagement in FemTech apps. We believe in designing interfaces that are visually appealing, easy to navigate, and inclusive to catering for diverse user needs. By placing the user at the centre of the design process, we create experiences that empower and support women in their health journeys. After all, who said digital experiences couldn't be delightful?
Technology is a powerful force driving innovation in FemTech. With the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and wearables, we are witnessing remarkable advancements that enhance the digital experience. Imagine personalised health insights, intelligent chatbots for support, and wearable devices seamlessly integrating with FemTech apps. The possibilities are endless, so how do brands stay at the forefront of harnessing these cutting-edge technologies to support their purpose-driven mission?
We’re huge fans of continuous learning and keeping up with the latest advancements in technology through research, attending industry conferences, and staying connected with experts in the field. This ensures an awareness of the latest trends and breakthroughs. Some great thought leaders and resources in the FemTech space are FemTech Insider, FemTech Lab and FemTech Analytics. A commitment to innovation will enable pioneers to deliver a future-proof product that meets the evolving needs of women's health and well-being, and having a digital architecture that can support this growth is paramount.
Join forces with innovative tech partners, build partnerships and support collaborations to help elevate the industry. And, follow a data-driven approach while gathering and listening to user feedback, whilst being prepared to refine and iterate your product.
We love seeing inspiring success stories about the transformative power of FemTech apps. From overcoming menstrual challenges to finding solace in virtual communities, these FemTech pioneers highlight the positive impact of digital experiences.
This innovative app tracks the impact of menstrual cycles, birth control, and peri and post menopause on users’ mental and physical readiness, in order to optimise training activity and nutrition.
As an ovulation and period tracker app, fertility calendar, and pregnancy assistant, millions of women use Flo for accurate predictions and credible medical articles and insights.
Offering menopause support through expert-created self-guided programmes, health-tracking, deep analytics and a support community of women and experts to empower users to manage menopause with confidence.
The digital experience has the possibility to make or break a FemTech product. Because female health has not been prioritised for too long already, we can’t do all of the hard work in elevating the industry through product development only to compound the issue by giving users a below par digital experience. Instead, through user-centric design, FemTech has the power to transform the way women manage their health. It fosters a sense of agency, knowledge, and control, allowing women to take charge of their own bodies and make informed decisions. By addressing the specific challenges within female health and embracing its diversity, FemTech paves the way for a future where female health is prioritised, understood, and supported in a way that has never been done before.
The digital experience in FemTech is more than just a trend – it's a movement that empowers women, improves health outcomes, and fosters inclusivity. At ASquared, we are here to support and champion your mission in the FemTech space. Together, we have the potential to create digital solutions that make a lasting impact on women's health and well-being.
Remember, if your mission matters, then so does the digital experience that accompanies it. Are you ready to join the digital FemTech revolution?