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How the FemTech revolution is fighting for women’s rights in healthcare

Women’s health has been notoriously neglected throughout history, as the healthcare sector didn’t escape the trend of men creating a world for males. The FemTech Revolution in recent years has been trying to change this healthcare dynamic for the better.

Women’s health has been notoriously neglected throughout history, as the healthcare sector didn’t escape the trend of men creating a world for males. From hysteria being attributed to whether or not you had a uterus in the 19th century, all the way to the first American clinical study including women being done in 1993, women have struggled to have their voice heard about their health for centuries. That is until now.


As Caroline Criado Perez pointed out in her book ‘Invisible Women’, major aspects of healthcare systems around the world put females at a disadvantage. The most critical part that causes this is the lack of studies done on females. In 2022, it was found that women only accounted for 29-34% of participants in clinical trial studies, due the industry’s concern over the child-bearing potential being affected in women. Although it may come from a good place, this puts women at a disadvantage as it means less studies are done on how drugs and technology affect their bodies, potentially putting them in more harm’s way.  What is even more jarring is that in a lot of studies where women are involved, the data is not sex-disaggregated – the data for men and women is lumped into one under the assumption that whatever is tested will work the same on both sexes. This mentality has given rise to the ‘Reference Man’ that gives us a general dose/use of a medical product which is based off a 30-year-old white male that is 70kg. This translated into a lot of healthcare and medical technology being made for men rather than women for decades, putting women at greater risk through drug doses being too high, or through discomfort due to a piece of equipment not being thought out with the female body in mind. This issue goes as far as misdiagnosis.


Recently, this has been changing through the start of the FemTech revolution. The word FemTech was coined by Ida Tin, the founder of the menstrual tracking app Clue, and currently encompasses any technology that helps to better the lives of women. In healthcare, FemTech aims to improve the health outcome of women whilst also making it more accessible through focusing on what women need and the effects products have on them. This spans sexual health, contraception, maternal health, and other conditions that affect women more such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Since 2008, there has been a surge in FemTech articles, studies, start-ups and funding, with the market value of the industry currently ranging between $500 million and $1 billion and projected to rise to $103 billion in 2030.  The rise in FemTech has also reached a government level, with the UK government publishing a section in their 2022 Medical Technology Strategy stating the need for implementing female-centred technology. As well as bringing women-centred products to the market, FemTech encourages and increases the participation of women in clinical studies and helps start studies on women-related topics that no-one has looked at before.


However, FemTech still has a way to go before it is perfect. It is still a growing industry, and a new one at that, so getting through regulations hinders progress and without the right strategy, what could be an amazing product may fall through. As well as this, a lot of FemTech products still need to work on being inclusive and accessible. BIPOC women face a lot of healthcare discrimination due to race, education and income, and often face technology bias with FemTech due to it being targeted at an audience with more money. For example, period cups and sustainable pads are significantly more expensive than what we currently have, immediately making it less accessible to a large chunk of the market.


The FemTech revolution is paving the way for an inclusive future for women. Although a lot of products and companies still have a long way to go, the room for improvement should be seen as an opportunity to better the health outcomes of women globally. At RIG, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of commercialising innovative companies and are backing the FemTech revolution by bringing such innovations to market.  Investment into FemTech innovation and aid in creating a strategy to make the products more inclusive brings us one step closer to gender equity in healthcare.

Written by Christina Vaschuk, who joined RIG as a summer intern in 2023. Find her on LinkedIn here:


  3. Criado-Perez, C. (2019). Invisible women: data bias in a world designed for men . New York: Abrams Press.