Health Technology for Women: In spite of the slogan of diversity pinned on the flag of many tech companies, the field is dominated by men. With the Big Bang Theory, Silicon Valley and The Social Network, it’s easy to imagine Silicon Valley as a bunch of guys in hoodies and flip-flops, solving big problems, with women as sidekicks rather than protagonists.
Women hold only 11 percent of executive position sat Silicon Valley companies and only own 5 percent of startups. And it shows. The majority of the period tracker apps fail women miserably. Fitness trackers and wearable are useless when it comes to pregnancy.
Most of our apps were designed and developed without the input of their future consumers. And it’s not like there’s no demand. In the health category, period tracking appears reportedly the fourth most popular. Yet it took years for Fit bit and Apple Watch to add it as a feature. And on the app side, a recent study showed that 95% of Menstrual Cycle tracking apps are inaccurate for patient use – and almost none of them cite medical literature or health professional involvement.
Credit: The Medical Futurist
But women’s health is not only about period Tracking and Pregnancy. A lot less consideration is given to other female health problems as well, such as menopause, cancer detection, breastfeeding troubles, troubles around bladder control, and a lot more. While digital health companies already appeared in these areas, their number is quite low, and they’re usually struggling to get funded.
Let’s take a look at Next Gen Jane, a San Francisco based start-up that promises to get insights into female reproductive health from menstrual blood in order to detect early biomarkers for endometriosis, cervical cancer or other conditions. They struggled to get funding for years. So if there’s demand, and these issues affect half of the population, why do only 10 percent of investor money go to women-led startups?
Why do tech companies overlook features specific to women? It’s terrible to see how digital health is failing those in need, so here’s a wake-up call! Fem tech investors, women’s health advocates,as well as fitness wearable manufacturers step forward and create solutions that serve the entire population.