- Women's healthcare is experiencing a "long-overdue makeover," or technological transformation, according to consultancy CB Insights. CB healthcare analyst Ja Lee cited connectivity, accessibility, and destigmatization of women's health needs as key drivers of innovation in the report issued Tuesday.
- "It's a market that could appeal to women of all demographics, especially as they navigate key transitions and health issues throughout their lives," the report said.
- Tech proliferation and integration of personalized machine learning, particularly in the reproductive health and fertility tracking spaces, continues momentum from FDA's first-of-its-kind approval in August of a "digital" birth control product, which couples a tracking app with a basal thermometer to make recommendations about fertility status.
Funding for women's health startups this year has exceeded $500 million, up from $350 million in 2013 and accounting for a slice of the $26 billion pie that healthcare startups have raised in 2018.
The number of equity deals is also up since 2013, as worldwide women's health markets become more crowded with products addressing everything from sexual health and pregnancy, to menopausal care and female-specific cancers. Seed or angel investments have accounted for 62% of women's health funding so far in 2018.
The agency approved a digital contraceptive in August from Sweden-based Natural Cycles Nordic AB, which had previously drawn criticism in Europe from women who experienced unwanted pregnancies while using the hormone-free product. FDA said that the "typical use" success rate for the product was around 93%.
Direct-to-consumer fertility and sexual health test kits allow for testing to increasingly take place at home. The global fertility services market is trending to reach $30 billion by 2023, according to report.
A recent women's health funding boom in September was largely due to $83 million raised in Series C funding by uBiome, which sells HPV and STI screening tests via the mail. Consumer electronics, like an ovulation sensor bracelet from Switzerland-based Ava Science, are also gaining popularity.
Y Combinator has been the most active seed accelerator investing in women's health, according to the report, with more major VCs like New Enterprise Associates and OrbiMed Advisors building up their women's health portfolios.