Femtech: Rich in innovation, short on funding – UKTN

The UK has the largest women’s health gap in the G20. “Women’s health gap” refers to women’s health generally deteriorating in their lifetime than men and this is due to gender diversity across the healthcare system.

Clinical trials and diagnostics, for example, take the male body as the standard and ignore the fact that drugs and medical conditions may affect the female body differently. Male test subjects have been studied primarily, including at animal and even cell testing stages.

Of course, therefore, women are given dangerous medication and are not misdiagnosed. An example of the first of these effects is the drug that “prevents” an acquired heart attack that increases the risk of heart attacks at a certain stage of the menstrual cycle. An example of the latter is the finding that women with a complete obstruction of the coronary artery are 59% more likely misdiagnosed the men.

In addition, health issues specific to women such as menstruation, menopause and pregnancy are traditionally treated as taboo topics and as a result have been under-researched and under-researched. Consequently, women with such conditions are not poorly diagnosed. Women suffering from endometriosis, for example, wait an average of seven to eight years for a diagnosis. The consequences of this lack of research are even more worrying when racial differences are taken into account; in the UK, black women are more than four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.

In addition, women’s health care is not usually taken as seriously as men’s concerns. Women who go to A&E with abdominal pain wait an average of 65 minutes to see a doctor. Men wait an average of 49 minutes. Men are also more likely to be given painkillers for their symptoms.

As Caroline Criado-Perez points out in her award-winning book, Invisible Women, the healthcare system is “systematically discriminating against women, making them chronically misunderstood, mistreated and misdiagnosed on them”.

Femtech: a booming market

The femtech industry is working to close the women ‘s health gap. Femtech, short for female technology, refers to technologies specifically designed to support women ‘s health. The term was first coined by the Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin in 2016, and the femtech industry has since shown rapid growth.

The total global market for femtech reached $ 40bn in 2020 and that is looking forward to to increase to $ 75bn by 2025.

Much of this growth is due to the UK, which holds the second largest share of femtech companies in the world. A huge range of UK products is being developed. DEOS and WH Bence Coachworks have developed a mobile breast cancer screening system that uses 3G / 4G and satellite communications to transport images to hospitals within minutes, allowing patients to get fast results.

Apricity has developed a virtual fertility clinic that uses artificial intelligence to improve the chances of conceiving with IVF. Elvie a small-sized breast pump is quiet, consumable, which can be controlled via a user’s phone.

Clearly the industry is not short of innovation. But lack of investment is a significant hurdle. Women’s health only 4% of healthcare R&D funding worldwide, and most of the funding it receives goes toward fertility solutions. In addition, almost 90% of investment decision-makers are men, and this lack of diversity in the investment sector means that femtech developers are more likely to be distracted by investors with little understanding, due to a lack of experience, awareness or education. . women ‘s health and so they do not realize the full potential of their ideas.

Femtech has a lot of untapped potential, which leaves a huge space for the growing industry. The growth potential of femtech in women is also clear 75% more likely to use digital healthcare tools than men, women of working age spend 29% more per capita on health care than men, and 90% of women are primary health care decision-makers for their families.

It is crucial that the potential of femtech is demonstrated through success stories. Successful investment companies have had a significant impact. Six years after its launch in 2013, the Clue period tracking app had 12 million users in more than 190 countries worldwide. Clearly the product met a widely felt need. The same can be said for Elvie’s products, as Elvie was on track to reach $ 100m in revenue in 2021, eight years after its 2013 launch.

As success stories continue to emerge, the future of femtech looks bright. We should, therefore, look forward to many other femtech products working innovatively to support women ‘s health.

Charlotte Lynch is a patent technical assistant in the engineering team at Mewburn EllisEuropean intellectual property firm.

Femtech: Rich in innovation, short on funding – UKTN

Source link Femtech: Rich in innovation, short on funding – UKTN

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