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How FemTech is Narrowing the Gender Gap in Healthcare

What is FemTech Revolution ?

The FemTech Revolution is New Zealand’s first and only FemTech marketplace. FemTech, or Female Technology, encompasses software/apps, devices, and innovative products supporting women’s health. They provide products related to reproductive health, motherhood, and general health and wellbeing, with the aim of giving women the power to advocate for their own health.

The Current Landscape 

The FemTech industry is skyrocketing, with the market forecast to grow to $60 billion by 2027. FemTech (or female technology) is providing a wide range of female specific solutions, including menstrual health, pelvic and reproductive health, menopause as well as gender specific solutions to health issues such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Most FemTech products aim to solve specific issues throughout a woman’s life span, leveraging the increased capability that many women now have to make their own decisions regarding their health. These solutions are often made BY women, FOR women.

There are a range of diverse and innovative start-ups in this area, most creating individual FemTech products. Consider the FemFit for example, a pelvic training device that not only reminds you to do your Kegel exercises but teaches you how to do them properly. Having trouble conceiving? There are now fertility devices, such as kegg, that can pinpoint the best time for you to conceive. Pregnant and want some reassurance about your baby? Tools are available for monitoring your baby, like fetal heart rate monitors, providing support and reassurance at home.

Menopause, typically the taboo subject of female health, is finding a new voice with products like the Embr Labs cooling bracelet, a bracelet that provides immediate relief to hot flashes. There are even companies developing smart undies for testing/monitoring of STIs and smart tampons for using menstrual blood to test for health. The opportunities are endless.

There are currently no other businesses quite like The FemTech Revolution, at least not down under in Australasia. However, there are FemTech marketplaces around the world. For example, Fermata is a FemTech marketplace supporting the women of Asia. It has dedicated itself to promoting products that enhance health and sexual wellness. Their motto, “turning taboos into triumphs”.

Many FemTech innovators also provide educational resources. This allows women to understand what is happening with their body, and why. This can combat the lack of information, or sometimes the misinformation, that is available. The ability to take control of our own health depends on having access to the right information. Information is power.

Company Birth Story 

Like in many aspects of life, there remains an undercurrent of sex bias against women in healthcare. This bias, or gender gap, is resulting in substandard healthcare for women and girls. It seems obvious, but men and women are different. Yes, our reproductive organs are different, but it’s more than this. Our biological sex can make us more likely to suffer from certain diseases, respond differently to drugs, and cause different symptoms for the same diseases. Until recently, this wasn’t well known. Large male biases have existed across all phases of medical research the consequence being that female biology is still not well understood.

One way to break the bias is by accelerating the adoption of FemTech. Dr Burrowes, the Founder of The FemTech Revolution, is a Bioengineer and mother of three, all born within 20 months of each other! She has worked in the bioengineering and health technology fields for over 15 years. During her career, she has witnessed first-hand the benefits of health innovations and health technologies. She saw the opportunity for FemTech to disrupt the healthcare sector and start bridging the gender gap in healthcare. The FemTech Revolution was born from Dr Burrowes’ passion to support women, to correct the gender bias in healthcare, her need as a busy Mum neglecting her health and her knowledge with the hope of helping others out there also in need.

The Solution

The FemTech Revolution is building a resource and a community to ensure women are better informed about the amazing technologies within the space of women’s health and wellness. They want to make women’s lives easier and healthier. To empower women to take control of their own health and wellbeing.

The FemTech Revolution’s hero products include the Bellabeat fitness trackers, kegg fertility trackers and pelvic floor trainers, the elegant Crave vibrators, and green period products (Lunette cups and Modibodi period underwear). Although - hot off the press – new products are coming soon including Proov ovulation tests, the Femfit pelvic floor trainer, Lactamo breastfeeding ball and more!

To go into more detail for a couple of their products, kegg® is a medical-grade fertility device that gives you accurate and personalised fertility tracking through cervical fluid in just 2 minutes a day. The team of kegg engineers and physicians invested years of research and discovery, to apply existing science to monitoring this key fertility sign through impedance technology. kegg tracks the

changes of electrolyte levels in vaginal fluids associated with the beginning and the end of the fertile window. Focusing on cervical fluid allows couples to recognise when they are fertile and therefore, when they are most likely to conceive.

Health Trackers are ubiquitous but female specific health trackers are relatively new. The Bellabeat fitness tracker range are one-of-a-kind health and wellness trackers created by women for women. Designed as an elegant bracelet or necklace that monitors your biometric data, and physical and mental activity, it helps with identifying what you need to do to level-up your self-care routines and reach peak performance. It importantly includes the impact a women’s menstrual cycle has on her health and well-being. The app that pairs with the device offers nutrition, exercise, and even postpartum advice to support new Mums through that challenging fourth trimester.

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