Photo: Vonecia Carswell / Unsplash

What is Femtech?

Femtech - a term you come across again and again in the startup context. But what exactly does it actually mean? A first approach.

Many people are probably familiar with the gender pay gap, but have you ever heard of the gender data gap? This refers to the lack of or underrepresentation of data collection for a particular gender in data collection procedures. The lack of data does not always affect women, but it usually does.

Stigma & taboo

In the medical field, a lack of data can not only be unattractive, but also dangerous. Missing or low data proportions of female subjects in medical studies can lead to biased research results, which in turn can lead to medical misjudgments or incorrect medication. The medical neglect of women is nothing new: in the past, women’s health needs were often neglected or considered less important than those of men. This has led to an underrepresentation of women in medical research and the development of health technologies. In addition, many topics related to women’s health, such as menstruation, fertility, pregnancy and sexual health, have historically been tabooed or stigmatized. Taboos that often persist to this day.

Femtech: Individual women’s health data

This is exactly where Femtech comes in. The term is derived from “female technology” and refers to products and services that serve to improve or support the health, well-being and quality of life of women. Women often have different health needs and experiences compared to men. Femtech aims to enable a personalized approach to healthcare by collecting and analyzing individual health data and providing tailored recommendations and treatments based on this data.

Femtech covers a wide range of applications, including:

  • Menstrual and fertility tracking apps: These apps help women to track their menstrual cycle, monitor their fertility and obtain information about their reproductive health.
  • Pregnancy and birth monitoring: There are various technologies that can help pregnant women to monitor their pregnancy, track their baby’s development and detect potential problems at an early stage.
  • Health and wellness apps: These include a variety of applications that deal with topics such as nutrition, fitness, mental health, sexual health, and other aspects of women’s well-being.
  • Medical devices and wearables: Femtech also includes medical devices and wearables designed specifically for women, such as devices for monitoring heart health, sleep patterns or other health indicators.

Femtech applications can improve women’s access to healthcare, especially in regions where access to medical facilities is limited or where women may not be able to access healthcare due to cultural or socio-economic barriers. Through technologies such as apps and wearables, women can receive information and services that they might not otherwise receive.

Munich femtech startups

The topic of femtech has also arrived in the Munich startup ecosystem – there is still room for improvement, but a start has been made. The Munich startups that are active in this field include, for example:

  • Vimum: The startup wants to break new ground in birth preparation. Vimum offers online courses in a hybrid model for expectant and new parents. In other words, courses ‘on demand’, combined with personal advice. With its multimedia e-health platform, the startup has found an answer to a social problem, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. During this time, the courses for expectant parents, which were previously mostly held in person, were often no longer possible. And even after coronavirus, there is still a need for care before and after the birth – regardless of time and place. With this approach, the Munich-based company has now also been able to win over health insurance companies as partners.
  • Femfeel: With its platform, the Munich-based company provides digital support for women during the menopause. In the free version of its app, Femfeel offers various informational articles about the menopause. It also offers the option of tracking and evaluating symptoms. The premium version of the app also offers courses from experts. These are designed to help improve well-being during the menopause through exercise, nutrition and stress reduction. In addition to the app, the startup offers women the opportunity to take a hormone test in combination with a consultation with a hormone expert to gain clarity about their current hormone status. All questions relating to the menopause are then clarified during the consultation. In the fall of 2023, the young company was acquired by the Iserlohn-based pharmaceutical company Medice Health Family. 
  • Gobunion: Significantly more women than men have ‘hallux valgus’ – or ‘bunion’ in English. And to deal with this problem, Gobunion founder Sarita Bradley has developed an innovative alternative. The Gobunion socks have a soft gel toe separator that stretches the big toe into its original position and ensures that the curvature does not increase. The ‘2 in 1’ product is designed to help with the daily hallux routine, prevent more severe curvature and relieve pain thanks to the optimized size and thickness of the softgel. In 2019, she pitched with Gobunion at Die Höhle der Löwen and was able to win Ralf Dümmel as an investor for her company. The deal: 150,000 euros in exchange for 49% of the shares.
Regina Bruckschlögl

Nach eigenen Startup-Erfahrungen blickt sie als Redakteurin von Munich Startup nun aus einer anderen Perspektive auf die Münchner Startup-Szene – und entdeckt dabei jeden Tag, wie vielfältig das Münchner Ökosystem ist. Startup Stories, die erzählt werden wollen!

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Sarita Bradly, GoBunion

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