Digital health is a broad term that refers to the utilization of communication and information technologies to manage, track, and improve the overall healthcare delivery system. Owing to the potential of digital technology to optimize patient healthcare and the development of pharmaceuticals, the digital healthcare industry has witnessed significant rise in investments in the past decade, including in the women’s digital health space. It is worth noting that the digital health initiative is mainly focused on developing and providing a range of easy-to-use and innovative tools to patients, scientists / researchers, healthcare professionals, and other industry stakeholders for better health management. A significant increase in adoption of digital solutions has been witnessed in this field, especially after the outbreak of pandemic.
Over the years, several initiatives have been undertaken by various industry stakeholders across the globe to promote digital health solutions and their applications. For instance, in 2019, the Preventive Healthcare tool was launched by Facebook to connect people to different health resources, enabling its users to set reminders for checkups, schedule tests and track their past activity.
Benefits of Digital Health Technologies
Women’s Digital Health
Women’s digital health or FemTech is a broad industry that offers various products, services, diagnostic tools, wearable devices, software, applications and technologies in order to address the issues associated with women’s health, including menstrual, reproductive, sexual, maternity, and menopause disorders. Since it is primarily focused on women’s healthcare, it has been termed as Female Technology or FemTech.
In the past few years, several investments have been made by various institutional investors in the companies associated with women’s digital health sector. For instance, in April 2022, USD 28.5 million was raised by Evernow in venture series A for re-defining the menopause treatment. Additionally, in February 2022, USD 15 million was raised by Ro in venture series E to expand its direct-to-patient healthcare model.
Key Application Areas of FemTech Industry
The FemTech industry provides an opportunity for better self-management, enabling and empowering women to be more in control of their own health and wellbeing. The various applications areas of FemTech industry have been highlighted in the figure.
Prominent Barriers to the Development and Success of Women’s Digital Health Solutions
Owing to the increased adoption rate of digital solutions and rise in the demand for telehealth services, the companies involved in the women’s digital health domain have witnessed a surge in the investment activity. Subsequently, capital investments worth more than USD 3 billion have been made in this domain, over the past few years. Nearly 90% of the capital invested in the companies has, so far, come in from venture capital funding; some companies have already gone public. Moreover, there is a high unmet need in certain areas, such as management of mental health, disease conditions, such as PCOS, endometriosis and disease which have high prevalence among women. In order to identify the gaps and unmet needs, it is important to develop customized and focused solutions, and establish policies that can help in increasing awareness about women’s health. Given the potential of digital health solutions, with the development of affordable and accessible digital technologies, the healthcare service industry is expected to witness noteworthy growth in the coming years. Furthermore, taking into consideration the ongoing efforts to develop solutions for existing unmet needs, we expect the women’s digital health market to present numerous lucrative investment opportunities in the future.