Female runner with a smart watch

In the dynamic realm of technology, a remarkable shift is taking place, amplifying the voices and needs of women through FemTech, writes François Bitouzet, MD of Viva Technology

As Europe’s largest tech and start-up conference, VivaTech geared up for an exciting event; one of its notable highlights was the introduction of a ground-breaking FemTech village.

The field of FemTech, which focuses on leveraging technology to address women’s health concerns, is experiencing exponential growth. In 2022, the FemTech market was valued at USD 30 billion, and experts predict it will reach a staggering USD 135 billion by 2032. This surge in interest and investment is a testament to the unmet needs in women’s health and the potential for technology to revolutionise how we approach it.

FemTech and women’s health is pivotal to society

The importance of women’s health and treatment cannot be overstated. Women play a pivotal role in society, and their well-being directly impacts the overall health and development of families, communities, and nations. Providing comprehensive healthcare for women is crucial for their health and quality of life and for ensuring a thriving and equitable society.

At VivaTech, this creative feminine space spotlighted the technologies and start-ups that address crucial women’s health concerns, ranging from menstruation and women’s mental health to menopause and beyond. Recognising the significance of FemTech, VivaTech has partnered with FemTech France to introduce the first-ever FemTech Village. The village brought together industry leaders, start-ups, and investors to showcase the latest advancements in female well-being, menstrual health, reproduction and contraception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and mental health. As part of this initiative, FemTech France hosted a challenge, inviting start-ups to apply for a chance to participate in their boot camp and win free passes to VivaTech.

FemTech is revolutionising how women are dealing with lifestages

FemTech, a term coined to represent technology targeting women’s health and well-being, is making waves across various industries. It encompasses many innovations, including wearable devices, mobile apps, digital platforms, and diagnostic tools. These technological advancements are revolutionising how women access information, manage their health, and navigate unique life stages.

One of the core objectives of FemTech is to address specific health concerns that affect women. These issues have historically been stigmatised or overlooked, leaving women without adequate resources and support. By developing innovative solutions, FemTech companies empower women to take charge of their health and well-being.

It’s not just about tracking, it’s about empowerment

FemTech empowers women to take ownership of their health and well-being. By providing access to innovative technologies, women can monitor their menstrual cycles, track fertility, manage menopause symptoms, and address mental health challenges more effectively. The spotlight on FemTech companies ensures that women know these options and can make informed decisions about their health.

These technologies dismantle barriers and foster a more inclusive dialogue by initiating conversations and raising awareness. The FemTech village at VivaTech catalysed these discussions, promoting open dialogue and encouraging collaboration among industry experts, entrepreneurs, and women.

FemTech is also changing medical outcomes for women

One area where FemTech is making significant strides is breast cancer. With one out of every nine women suffering from breast cancer and approximately 40% undergoing mastectomy, Lattice Medical, a biotech start-up, is developing technology that enables breast regeneration. This ground-breaking approach can potentially transform breast cancer survivors’ lives, offering a more natural and effective reconstruction option.

Another condition FemTech tackles head-on is endometriosis, a chronic and often undiagnosed condition affecting millions of women worldwide. Matricis AI is developing an artificial intelligence algorithm to aid radiologists in diagnosing endometriosis more accurately. Additionally, Endodiag has created a comprehensive biobank of tissues and blood samples from patients with endometriosis, aiming to develop a blood test for diagnosis, which could significantly reduce the average seven-year delay in diagnosis.

Assisted reproduction is yet another area where FemTech is making a difference. One in five individuals faces challenges with assisted reproduction, with an 80% failure rate in many cases. Start-ups like Louise are utilising artificial intelligence to provide clinical decision support and enhance the efficiency of assisted reproduction techniques. Igyxos is working on a ground-breaking drug that aims to revolutionise infertility treatment by stimulating natural hormones instead of relying on injections of new hormones.

As FemTech continues to gain momentum, it is crucial to nurture and support this thriving sector. Encouraging investment, fostering partnerships, and providing access to resources can fuel the growth of FemTech companies and ensure their solutions reach the women who need them most. Additionally, promoting diversity within the tech industry is vital to foster inclusive innovation and to drive the development of more comprehensive FemTech solutions.

Why FemTech is so important it has its own village

The FemTech revolution is well underway, and the introduction of the FemTech village at VivaTech further highlights the importance of this transformative movement. By addressing women’s health concerns and providing innovative solutions, FemTech empowers women, breaks taboos, and fosters a more inclusive dialogue. As we embrace the promising future of FemTech, let us recognise its immense potential to create positive change in women’s lives worldwide and champion the transformative power of technology for all.