As the FemTech industry continues to grow and evolve, 2024 promises to be a big year. To understand the upcoming transformations, we spoke to a group of experts in the field of FemTech.
Here’s what they had to say…
- Tess Cosad, CEO and Co-Founder at Béa Fertility
- Valentina Milanova, Founder at Daye
- Vivien Zhang, CEO at SOLAIRE
- Sue Khan, Data Protection Officer at Flo Health
- Sarah King, Co-Founder at Obu
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Tess Cosad, CEO and Co-Founder at Béa Fertility
“2023 has been a year of significant strides forward for women’s health: from pioneering innovations, including the UK’s first successful womb transplant and first clinical grade at-home fertility treatment, to greater awareness around the menopause and commitment to wider support for women in the workplace. But we have much further to go. This year, women’s health ventures received just 3.5% of UK equity funding. A lack of education, representative data and understanding of the health challenges facing women continues to leave innovators with an uphill battle to gain buy-in and funding for life-changing solutions.
“Addressing this will be an absolute priority for 2024. A lot of Femtech companies have a unique blend of qualities that investors look for in a turbulent market – differentiated products, positive unit economics and consistent (rather than ‘at all costs’) M-o-M growth are some of the core pillars of a sustainable business, and a lot of Femtech companies are innately built on those pillars.
“As consumer-facing businesses, we’re also closer to our users and better able to capture the data we need to break down remaining stigma and fix bias within healthcare data systems. This will be key to helping us close the gender health gap once and for all. Femtech companies are leading this progress by shining a light into traditionally overlooked areas of health, unlocking new insights and data that can help to improve understanding and approaches to treatment and care delivery. In 2024, we will see this work intensify, helping women’s health to finally achieve level footing with wider healthcare innovation – equality that is long overdue.”
Valentina Milanova, Founder at Daye
“I hope that 2024 will bring a lot of innovation in gynaecological health and that the FemTech sector will be poised for growth, producing an improvement in patient outcomes. Given the rise of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning in other industries, and in healthcare more broadly, I anticipate the FemTech space to adopt these as well. A significant rise in the funding of FemTech companies and gynaecological health research is necessary for the evolution of the sector. It remains to be seen whether the more challenging economic environment we are in and the worsening of the economy, which is expected in 2024, will lead to a further drop in funding for the sector, which would be detrimental for the industry and for earlier stage innovators in particular. The application of culturally sensitive generative AI, trained on diverse data, is expected to provide a better understanding of human experiences and address complex societal challenges, particularly those experienced by women and assigned female at birth (AFAB) individuals. It’s really important that we collectively lobby for a reduction in bias in AI systems and for AI systems to be trained on more diverse data sets, otherwise gynaecological health will be set further behind.
“Some of my key predictions for the FemTech landscape in 2024 include a growing preference for sustainable and eco-friendly products, as consumers become more environmentally conscious. Simultaneously, there will be an increased integration of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and wearables into FemTech products, boosting their effectiveness and efficiency. Given the broader macroeconomic environment, there will be an increased demand for more affordable products and services, and this has already been seen in the tampon sector in the UK, where multiple D2C tampon delivery companies went out of business in 2023. I expect a further consolidation of the FemTech space as some companies go out of business and others acquire them or their teams. As the FemTech industry expands, it is projected to address a broader range of health issues, including gynaecological health, fertility, and menopause, offering innovative solutions tailored to patients’ unique needs.
“Overall, the FemTech industry in 2024 is positioned for continued expansion, driven by the increasing demand for sustainable and innovative products. As FemTech solutions become more accessible and inclusive, they are poised to play a crucial role in improving gynaecological health.”
Vivien Zhang, CEO at SOLAIRE
“Over the next few years, commerce data infrastructure will be upgraded from isolated cloud storage to Blockchain – a shared database. This new underlying data infrastructure will give IP owners (whether you are in fashion, sports, music, or fine art) the ability to follow an item throughout its life cycle after it is sold. We enable trust and transparency through blockchain-secured data, to cut out the middleman in everyday commerce transactions. For example, sports teams and musicians can now easily measure the worth of the IP regardless of the medium or the intermediary and will be able to connect directly with their fans. For fashion and fine art, resale can be done peer-to-peer, without relying on a third party for authentication or dispute management. Our everyday commerce activities will be recorded on an immutable, shared database to facilitate trust and efficiency.
“In fashion, under the EU DPP requirement, every physical item needs to be accompanied by a digital passport detailing its provenance and material composition. When that digital passport is registered on blockchain and delivered to the customer in the form of an NFT, the NFT becomes the vehicle for rich content that can include authenticity, storytelling, care instructions, marketing materials, and clientele efforts. The NFT and customer’s wallet that holds the NFT becomes a channel of communication between the brand and the consumer. It allows brands to permanently attach stories to an item even after the item was sold, gives them a channel to engage with customers post-sale and feedback data on customer’s engagement with the brand and the item.
“Leveraging the storytelling nature of the digital passport NFT, consumers can personalize their possession by attaching sentimental value to it, the content will live permanently with the product on blockchain. Sustainability is achieved when resale is made effortless. Consumers can now easily purchase items in the secondary marketplace with trust, while brands can capture resale revenue and data to improve business planning for the future.”
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Sue Khan, Data Protection Officer at Flo Health
“Female health apps have grown tremendously over the past decade, as they’ve been created to help women better understand their bodies and prioritise their wellbeing. Now, with 2024 on the horizon, the femtech industry will need to take innovation to the next level by dedicating resources to the cybersecurity and data protection of its products or services.
Since period, ovulation and pregnancy tracking applications have become a default tool in multiple women’s lives and these process sensitive health information, it is our responsibility to not just provide users with technological convenience, but safety as well. In short, the responsibility we have to our users always needs to be reflected in how we prioritise their right to privacy.
Femtech companies should therefore keep investing in features and measures that will help protect the sensitive health information of their users, as well as work together when possible, rather than compete on privacy and security. This year, for example, Flo Health – in partnership with Cloudflare – opened sourced Flo’s award-winning Anonymous Mode feature with the health app ecosystem and beyond. We believe it is important to share the technological innovation needed to strengthen privacy measures within the wider industry.”
Sarah King, Co-Founder at Obu
“As the CEO of an angel investment platform that specializes in supporting female-led businesses, I’m thrilled that FemTech seems set to transform the way women access and manage their health needs. In 2024, we can expect to see even more innovative products and services emerge, further enhancing the lives of women worldwide.
“Enhanced personalization & data-driven care: FemTech solutions are becoming increasingly personalized, leveraging data and AI to tailor treatments and recommendations to individual women. For example, widely used applications such as fertility trackers and period symptom trackers collect valuable data that helps women better understand their bodies. This granular data is fueling the development of AI-powered diagnostic tools that can aid in the early detection and prevention of women’s health conditions.
“Expanded access & convenience: FemTech is bridging gaps in access to healthcare, particularly for underserved communities. Telehealth platforms are providing women with remote consultations and diagnostic services, while mobile apps are offering convenient symptom tracking and medication management tools. This increased accessibility is empowering women to take control of their health and seek guidance when needed.
“Breaking stigmas & fostering open conversations: FemTech is also playing a crucial role in destigmatizing women’s health issues and encouraging open conversations about often taboo subjects. By normalizing these discussions, FemTech is empowering women to seek the care they need without shame or hesitation”